From The Sunday Page, January 14, 2018 
by Michael Larson, Worship, Arts & Service Director

 

Light of All Peoples

The people who walked in the darkness have seen a great light.

The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.

In the Word was life, and the life was the Light of all people.

Isaiah 9:2a; John 1:1-5

In these inspiring and hopeful words of the season, I am particularly struck by the phrase, “the life was the Light of all people.” As we journey into this season of Epiphany, we celebrate God’s unconditional love and grace for all peoples, of all time and all places. As we rejoice in the Light of all peoples, we yearn to discover our calling to be the Light to all peoples as the body of Christ, the body of Light.

Our liturgy opens with a prayer written by L. Annie Foerster, called “Let Me Tell You Who We Are.” The prayer begins by addressing the Holy, whose names and attributes are infinite and ever-expansive, just as we, too, embody endless characteristics and qualities. In the naming of who we are, we experience the tension of living both as insiders and outsiders. Our liturgy names and embodies that lived experience.

In times when fear and uncertainty abound, when people experience growing separation, marginalization, and hatred, we pray to the God of Light, the God of All: “Enlighten our hearts; unite us in Love.” May this become our mantra. We are a diverse people, united by Love and called to be Light to all peoples and all of creation.

Among all peoples in this season of Epiphany, each Sunday will have a particular focus. Today, we lift up Martin Luther King Jr. (January 14). As we continue on our Epiphany journey, we will observe Global Church Sunday (January 21), Reconciling in Christ Sunday (January 28), and Immigration and Refugee Sunday (February 4). We continue our evening service, dwelling in Love and Light.

As we gather in Holy Light, we pray for unity, for hope, for peace:

Diverse in culture, nation, race, we come together by your grace.

God, let us be a meeting ground where hope and healing love are found.

God, let us be a bridge of care connecting people ev’rywhere.

Help us confront all fear and hate and lust for pow’r that separate.

When chasms widen, storms arise, O Holy Spirit, make us wise.

Let our resolve, like steel, be strong to stand with those who suffer wrong.

God, let us be a table spread with gifts of love and broken bread,

where all find welcome, grace attends, and enemies arise as friends.

Text: Ruth Duck, b. 1947 © 1992 GIA Publications, Inc.

All rights reserved. Reprinted under permission with OneLicense.net License #A-714316.

by Michael Larson, Worship, Arts & Service Director

If you have questions regarding liturgy, music and arts, please contact me in person or via email (michael@gsolympia.org).