DATE: 12 July 2015

TO: Manantial de Gracia

TITLE: “Freedom Comes After Struggle 2: Looking for True Freedom!”

Prayer of Preparation in Motion: Psalm 23

See the Prayer Folder

Call to Worship: Psalm 24 read as call and response

InhaleExhale
“Freedom Comes After Struggle 2: Looking for True Freedom!”
Last week we began a two-part sermon series titled Freedom Comes After Struggle. It might have appeared as though much was left unsaid. And you are right. Actually the sermon in its entirety was a build up to today’s sermon.  

Last week you may have heard me speak of the unjust treatment of those people who have been made to feel othered by the world, by this country, by religion simply by virtue of the ways in which they are different.  
Last week I named out loud the oppressive injustice of living in this world while being Black or Brown. I named the way that our bodies are seen as so different that we could not be considered free on the day in which America became free from the colonial empire, which ruled it…
I spoke of how that struggle has left such a stain on the soil of this country that today; Freedom still illudes some of us. I used the Psalms to show you how David in Psalm 13 cried for mercy: 
How long, O Lord? Will you forget [us] forever?

How long will you hide your face from [us]?

How long must [we] make decisions alone with sorrow in [our] hearts day after day?

How long will [our] enem[ies] triumph over [us]?

Look at me! Answer me, O Lord my God!

[Look at us! Answer us, O Lord our God!]  
We spoke about the beautiful colors of the fireworks and how those bursts of light in the night sky that should be a commemoration of freedom, still seem to exclude some of us.  
And I invited us each to take a deep breath in and out… as we recalled, “Freedom comes from God. It is not easy. It is not smooth. It is not weak. It is not tepid. Freedom is an attainable goal that we can aspire towards” as long as God is with us. So in that spirit, I invite us to stand and breath…
Breathing out the oppression that clouds us

Breathing in renewed strength

Breathing out the filth we have been told about our selves

Breathing in faith

Breathing out anger

Breathing in hope

Breathing out indignation

Breathing in God’s righteousness

Breathing out disgust

Breathing in God’s mercy

Breathing out history’s filth and exclusion

Breathing in God’s peace

Breathing in God’s love

Breathing out the systems that exclude us
Breathe in and out. In and Out. Find stillness within yourself. Breathe in and out. In and Out. Listen to the Reading from 2 Samuel 6: 1-5.
Engaging the Word: 2 Samuel 6: 1-5

David again gathered all the chosen men of Israel, thirty thousand. David and all the people with him set out and went from Baale-judah, to bring up from there the ark of God, which is called by the name of the Lord of hosts who is enthroned on the cherubim. They carried the ark of God on a new cart, and brought it out of the house of Abinadab, which was on the hill. Uzzah and Ahio,[a] the sons of Abinadab, were driving the new cart with the ark of God;[b] and Ahio[c] went in front of the ark. David and all the house of Israel were dancing before the Lord with all their might, with songs[d] and lyres and harps and tambourines and castanets and cymbals.
David became king officially in chapter 5. That was only 1 chapter before this moment but to get there David went through some stuff…
In 1Samuel 16, David was secretly anointed by the servant of God.
Everything that happened after that was struggle…David:

He has slain the Giant in the name of God

He has been to war

He has tamed the pain from Saul with the use of God’s gifts of music

He has fought

He became King Saul’s son in law…twice

He has mourned Saul’s death

He has slaughtered and castrated

He has been made King over Judah

Did I mention he had lots of enemies?

He has been at war for 7 years with Saul’s Son 

Did you hear me say he fought?

But now, finally, he has become King over all Israel. Officially. Only in that last chaper and now…. David enters his Kingdom, the one that God has given him only in that last chapter!  
If you are anything like me you are wondering, SO WHAT? What is the big deal?  
THE BIG DEAL IS, God was with him. Every conquest, every plan, every moment…God was with him. Through all his children, with wives and concubines… God was with David. He was not always a good man. Not even close. He had many faults, but he chose to be a slave to God. He chose to tie himself up to God.  
When we hear the words freedom, realize that freedom is more than its definition. According to Webster, freedom is a noun defined as meaning having:

“the power to act, speak, or think as one wants without hindrance or restraint.”

“the state of not being imprisoned or enslaved”

Elly’s definition of freedom is tied to the words independent, self-governing, autonomous, and delivered.
And if we look at the life of David, that ruddy red cheeked wild man. That fighting, hard headed man. That man, who saw what he wanted and went after it…one would think him to be:

independent, 

self-governing, 

Autonomous, 
But he was not. He was tied up in a personal relationship with God. He chose to do battle in the name of his Creator. He chose to continue to look to God for guidance even when he already knew what he wanted.  
He choose the FREEDOM that comes from giving himself over to God’s will rather than his own. 2X
Don’t get me wrong, I am not a David applauder, who looks to sugar coat his bad decisions or inappropriate actions, I am a realist who sees a man that wanted what he wanted and still turned himself over to God. OVER AND OVER AGAIN. With each and every breath.  
With each breath, David found a way to praise God. And this moment…when the world might have been looking to him to act like royalty. To act appropriately. To act in accordance with his position and his title…David acted like a newly freed slave.  
He worshiped his Creator with all that he had. Even in what must have been his most humbling moments, when doubt crept in, when his most carnal of basic desires crept in, he found a way to keep hope. He remained hopeful that God would see him through to the next phase, whatever that next phase might be. As my Muslim friend reminded me, peace mercy compassion love…they each require healing, but they begin with hope.
David pulled out all stops. He found all his instruments. He found all his musical blessings. He took ownership of all his faculties and principalities and he used them to worship with new fervor.  
As we continue to look for ways to be free, let us remember freedom…that freedom we so heavily seek…that freedom to speak and freedom to think, is a gift from God.  
Peace Mercy Compassion Love. And each time we use our freedom we are using the Gifts and Blessings God has given us. Healing and Hope.
When we speak Love to another rather than hate. When we speak Mercy rather than persecution. To be free in deed is to be delivered! To be free, means to be dependent on God rather than independent of God. To be free means to allow God to govern our hearts rather than taking action. If you are free…truly free…be free to worship God!

Amen!
Response to the Word: Read the Word……….…………………………..……2 Samuel 6: 12b-15

So David went and brought up the ark of God from the house of Obed-edom to the city of David with rejoicing; 13 and when those who bore the ark of the Lord had gone six paces, he sacrificed an ox and a fatling. 14 David danced before the Lord with all his might; David was girded with a linen ephod. 15 So David and all the house of Israel brought up the ark of the Lord with shouting, and with the sound of the trumpet.
WORSHIP!!!!
Holy Communion: 2 Samuel 6: 17-19a
Oracion (Prayer) – Wherever You Are by Rev. Kathrn Matthews Huey

Holy God of Israel, ever present and moving among your people, draw us near you, that in place of hostility there may be peace; in place of loneliness, compassion; in place of aimlessness,

It is in that vulnerable state that Man and Woman met God. It is in that state of discomfort and disrobement that we must make a decision… should we hide from God or instead choose to cling to our Creator for support?
That is the question that I read between the lines of today’s Genesis reading. A choice that we must each make alone.
God is patient. God is kind. God awaits our response.

Amen!

Sacrament of Holy Communion
Invitation

All are welcome at this table, free to partake. In this church, we believe in extragant welcome…no one is denied access to God’s grace. If you feel called to be with us, consider yourself invited and loved. Free to share in this meal with us!
You are welcome, Invited, you are family and friend…beloved by His grace. By God’s forgivess. And most of all you are invited because just as you are YOU ARE LOVED.
All are invited to share in God’s grace. 

Here it is, a common table. Here it is a sacramental table.

Where no one is turned away. Where all God’s people have a place.

Here is the welcome God offered when God said let there be light, and there was light Here is the welcome God offered when God said let the waters beneath flow together so dry ground may appear.

Here, at this table is with God’s creation. When God looked over all God declared it good, saying, “it is good.”

We have been declared good. We have been deemed worthy.

Here is the Church, gathered in Christ’s name. 

Baptized in the Holy Spirit. And bound by love. Here we are, gathered by faith
Prayer of Confession

Let us pray in silent confession:

(Silent Prayer of Confession) …amen!
Words of Institution and Sharing of the Elements

And now, let us hear again the story of how this meal was first celebrated…On the night on which Jesus was betrayed, Jesus sat at supper with his disciples: students, friends, travel-mates, even one who would betray him…
While they were eating, he took a piece of bread, blessed it and gave it to them saying: 

“This is my body broken for you.” (BREAK THE BREAD) 

“Take and eat, in remembrance of me.” (DISTRIBUTION OF BREAD)
In the same way, Jesus took a chalice, filled it with wine and said, “This is my blood shed for you.” (PRESENT THE CHALICE)  

He passed it to all who were gathered saying, “Take and drink, of this cup, filled to overflowing by my love.” (DISTRIBUTION OF WINE) 
Prayer of Thanksgiving

Remain with us, O God. Make this feast the nourishment we need to grow more wild and wonderful. Graft us onto the vine of your Beloved so that we might grow more connected with you and all of creation. With this food and this drink, let us be the love that we have found in you and your Beloved. Amen.
  direcion; and in place of sickness, healing; through Christ Jesus, in whom you draw near to us.  

Amen
Compartimos Los Elementos (Share The Elements)

17 They brought in the ark of the Lord, and set it in its place, inside the tent that David had pitched for it; and David offered burnt offerings and offerings of well-being before the Lord. 18 When David had finished offering the burnt offerings and the offerings of well-being, he blessed the people in the name of the Lord of hosts, 19 and distributed food among all the people, the whole multitude of Israel, both men and women, to each a cake of bread, a portion of meat,[g]and a cake of raisins. 
Today, as we share in these elements we remember that every meal is a sacred meal. That every time that we sit together is a sacred time. This week some of us have joined together in fasting. As David offered up burnt offerings and offerings of well-being before the Lord we offered up our own sacrifices: some giving up meals others foregoing the use of our electronics. Each of us offering up our nourished and heartfelt sacrifices.  
And now, we will share in this meal, one with the other. Sharing the Host…the Bread of Life with our neighbor and then sharing of the Vine…the Cup of Salvation. This will be shared by intinction.
BLESS THE BREAD….SHARE THE BREAD

BLESS THE WINE…SHARE THE WINE
ONCE The plate and cup have made a full circuit…we will share the peace

Palabras De Seguridad (Assurance Of Blessing)

Please remain seated through the Benediction, and join us for a Time to Share and Care: 

Then all the people went back to their homes.

20 David returned to bless his household. But Michal the daughter of Saul came out to meet David, and said, “How the king of Israel honored himself today, uncovering himself today before the eyes of his servants’ maids, as any vulgar fellow might shamelessly uncover himself!” 21 David said to Michal, “It was before the Lord, who chose me in place of your father and all his household, to appoint me as prince over Israel, the people of the Lord, that I have danced before the Lord. 22 I will make myself yet more contemptible than this, and I will be abased in my own eyes; but by the maids of whom you have spoken, by them I shall be held in honor.” 23 And Michal the daughter of Saul had no child to the day of her death.

And much like David, today we will share together in blessing each other in the Holy name of God. Let us take a moment to share God’s peace each with the other…
Leave singing this song:

Yo Tengo la Paz de Cristo (brief)
References

http://www.dailykos.com/story/2015/06/29/1397665/-Six-black-churches-have-been-destroyed-by-fires-in-Southern-states-this-past-week#

http://www.ibtimes.com/black-churches-burning-african-american-congregation-leaders-concerned-wave-suspected-1992410

Weekly Seeds for 19July2015. Wherever You Are by Rev. Kathrn Matthews Huey

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