By Linda Furtado
This Is Sabbath
A Gathering Meditation inspired by Mark 2:23-3:6
Today, in this hour, at this moment, we are in a regular rhythm of letting God work in us. Here we rest from daily work. This is the moment our souls have been waiting for, even if some of us didn’t know we needed it.
As we sit and hear God’s word—whether preached, sung, prayed, or otherwise—let’s remember to ask ourselves, “Are we listening?” God is informing and guiding our time together. This is not just a party, a celebration, a special service, or a concert. This is Sabbath. This is God’s time. Let’s lift praise, give thanks, glorify God’s name, and pause from every unessential mission so that we experience and spread the news. God is good, Jesus is the Way, and the Holy Spirit is ready to renew all who believe in the Resurrection and healing power of Jesus Christ.
Our Time under God
A Prayer for the Second Sunday after Pentecost
Thank you, God, for being our God.
We know that our God is always on time.
Our God doesn’t waste time.
Our God makes time and teaches us what it looks like to make good use of our time on this earth.
Our time is limited.
Our time must be managed.
Our time is out of our hands to the point that we must pause for our spiritual health’s sake to remember who our time falls under.
Our time under God is time well spent.
Under God, we recognize how God is helping us through our weakness.
Our time under God puts rest and self-care into perspective.
Without God, our time is underwhelming
Our time is underwater with the world’s problems.
Our time is under arrest, easily kept from God’s promises.
Thank you God for allowing our time to be under you and not limited to our ways of doing things.
There Is Work to Be Done
A Sending for the Second Sunday after Pentecost
It’s church day. But there is work to be done.
God has given you what you need to do good and not harm.
So, what are you waiting for?
Let your Christian mission and not your Sunday-best
Dictate where you go next from here.
Linda Furtado currently serves as the Minister of Worship, Arts, and Media at McKendree United Methodist Church in downtown Nashville, Tennessee. Linda, a ministry leader in the Tennessee Annual Conference, is married to the Rev. Jefferson M. Furtado. She is the mother of three school-age daughters, Sueli, Cintia, and Emma.
BY ASHLEY JOHNSON & SAFIYAH FOSUA
WHO IS MY FAMILY?
A Call to Worship for Mark 3:31-35
Leader: Who is my mother, and who are my brothers and sisters? Look around you and you will see them. They are not always the people you grew up with. They are the people who have joined the journey to learn more about God and the ways of God’s people.
People: They are the people who abandon houses and land, fame, and fortune -- for the sake of the gospel.
Leader: They are the people who pray through the night for the safety of someone else’s child or for the healing of someone else’s loved one.
People: They are the ones who offer a cold cup of water to people considered outcast. They do so in the name of Christ.
Leader: Who are my brothers; who are my sisters; where is my family?
People: Jesus said that: Whoever does the will of God is my brother and sister and mother (Mark 3:35, NRSV).
Leader: Welcome to worship, family!
All: We gather to worship the God who has made us kin!
HELP US TO SEE ONE ANOTHER
A Collect for Mark 31-35
You embrace all that we are and all that we will be.
Help us to truly see one another,
so that we can see your light in one another as well as our diverse needs.
Help us to listen deeply to one another,
so that we can eagerly respond to your call to advocate for justice, inclusion, and peace.
Through Jesus Christ, our Lord. Amen.
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 BU’s School of Theology with an MTS. She is a provisional deacon in The United Methodist Church, and she currently serves at Union Church Boston.
Safiyah Fosua is a retired associate professor of the Wesley Seminary of Marion, Indiana, and a retired elder from the Greater New Jersey Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church. Safiyah was the associate editor of the first Africana Worship Book series. She has authored several books and appears in several multi-author publications. She is married to the Rev. Dr. Kwasi Kena.