By Ashley Johnson
An opening based on 2 Samuel 23:1-7
Recruit a strong, dramatic reader able to memorize this piece and present it from the aisles!
Creation speaks. Sunlight, bursting forth over endless rolling hills and through windows that pay the gift forward by presenting a kaleidoscope of colors, speaks of a brilliant and intense love.
Silence speaks, and in moments of silent prayer, we feel a familiar and tender embrace.
We can hear God in the silence.
Music, the language of the atmosphere, speaks to and for the parts of us that words cannot.
And people speak. Our people, who come in shades that together create a handsome symphony of colors, speak.
God speaks through our communities.
The Spirit of the Lord speaks through us.
Inspire our utterances, God,
and help us to receive again the wondrous gift that you have placed before us:
the opportunity to listen.
God of Resistance
A collect inspired by John 18:33-37
God of grace, love, power, and resistance: You delivered your Son into this world to testify to the truth. Mobilize us. Give us the nerve to continuously take up the project of liberation like Christ the King. Give us the courage to eagerly respond to your call to advocate for justice and peace in our communities, so that the oppressed will be set free. It is because of the Sprit that gives each one the sustenance needed to do this hard work, we pray. Amen.
A closing based on 2 Samuel 23:1-7
Be that savory aroma that lets all know that they belong.
Be that soulful song that fills the room with vibrations that console and inspire.
Be that cool and calming breeze that reminds others to live in peace.
Be that firm ground that gives our children something solid to stand on, so that they can see farther.
And offer always to one another the delicious kind of words that add beauty and flavor to our world.
Ashley Johnson is a proud alumna of Spelman College. She received a Master of Arts in teaching from Brown University and has enjoyed serving as an elementary school teacher for more than ten years. In 2017, Ashley graduated from Boston University’s School of Theology with a Master of Theological Studies. She is a provisional deacon in The United Methodist Church and currently serves at Union Church Boston.