Sunday, February 4, 2018
Worship Leader: Rev. Bob
Opening of God’s Holy Word
Leader: This is the day that the Lord has made
ALL: Let us rejoice and be glad in it.
Lighting the Community Candles:
We light the first candle to honor the Good and truth to be found in all spiritual traditions.
We light the second candle to honor the earth and all of life as the creation of the Divine—the one Lord and God of us all.
We light the third candle to honor and support the variety of individual paths which, together, make our one spiritual community.
We light the fourth candle to honor and provide an open and safe place for all who seek greater understanding and a life of deepening spirituality.
Opening Hymn: Seek Ye First – The Maranatha Singers (click on song title for link)
Genesis 17:10-12 (NIV): 10This is my covenant with you and your descendants after you, the covenant you are to keep: Every male among you shall be circumcised.11 You are to undergo circumcision, and it will be the sign of the covenant between me and you. 12 For the generations to come every male among you who is eight days old must be circumcised, including those born in your household or bought with money from a foreigner—those who are not your offspring.
Deuteronomy 10:16 (NIV): 16 Circumcise your hearts, therefore, and do not be stiff-necked any longer.
Luke 2:21-38 (NIV): 21 On the eighth day, when it was time to circumcise the child, he was named Jesus, the name the angel had given him before he was conceived. 22 When the time came for the purification rites required by the Law of Moses, Joseph and Mary took him to Jerusalem to present him to the Lord 23 (as it is written in the Law of the Lord, “Every firstborn male is to be consecrated to the Lord”), 24 and to offer a sacrifice in keeping with what is said in the Law of the Lord: “a pair of doves or two young pigeons.” 25 Now there was a man in Jerusalem called Simeon, who was righteous and devout. He was waiting for the consolation of Israel, and the Holy Spirit was on him. 26 It had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he would not die before he had seen the Lord’s Messiah. 27 Moved by the Spirit, he went into the temple courts. When the parents brought in the child Jesus to do for him what the custom of the Law required, 28 Simeon took him in his arms and praised God, saying: 29 “Sovereign Lord, as you have promised, you may now dismiss[c] your servant in peace. 30 For my eyes have seen your salvation, 31 which you have prepared in the sight of all nations: 32 a light for revelation to the Gentiles, and the glory of your people Israel.” 33 The child’s father and mother marveled at what was said about him.34 Then Simeon blessed them and said to Mary, his mother: “This child is destined to cause the falling and rising of many in Israel, and to be a sign that will be spoken against, 35 so that the thoughts of many hearts will be revealed. And a sword will pierce your own soul too.” 36 There was also a prophet, Anna, the daughter of Penuel, of the tribe of Asher. She was very old; she had lived with her husband seven years after her marriage, 37 and then was a widow until she was eighty-four.[d]She never left the temple but worshiped night and day, fasting and praying. 38 Coming up to them at that very moment, she gave thanks to God and spoke about the child to all who were looking forward to the redemption of Jerusalem.
Arcana Coelestia §1986, verses 8, 9: But people must first of all remove their own loves and their foul desires, and so be purified. This is what was represented by and what is meant by circumcision, verses 10, 11. Thus union would be effected, both with those inside the Church and with those outside it, verse 12. Purification must definitely come first, otherwise there is no union, only condemnation; and yet union cannot come about except in people’s impurity, verses 13, 14. The union of the Human Essence with the Divine Essence, that is, of truth with good, is foretold, verses 15-17. Also, the union with those people who are governed by the truths of faith is referred to; that is to say, as it existed with those who belonged to the heavenly Church, so it would exist with those who belonged to the spiritual Church, verses 18, 19. The latter as well were to be endowed with good things from faith, verse 20. A concluding statement that these things would be achieved through the union of the Human Essence with the Divine Essence in the Lord, verse 21. The end of what is foretold, verse 22. This was the way it would take place and did take place. (R. Kern, trans.)
Meditation: On Eagle’s Wings – Michael Joncas (click on song title for link)
Closing Hymn: Go Now in Peace – Peter Shaw (click on song title for link)