We say in our bulletin every week, “We pray for the too many refugees in the world. ” Last Sunday Steve Dycus spoke prophetically, calling us to do more than just pray. He urged us to find more ways to act. He reminded us that there are now over 65 million refugees, the highest number in the history of the world, fleeing war, oppression, poverty, famine and environmental disaster. Bill Burden then spoke about the devastation that the current record-breaking hurricane season is wreaking, giving rise to more refugees as islands become uninhabitable.
The lectionary lessons this Sunday are some of the dozens of passages in the Bible that proclaim God’s love for the stranger or resident alien or refugee. God calls us over and over us to offer extravagant hospitality to all. We will reflect on how this calling can shape the beloved community we create both within the church and around us in the town, and we will celebrate the extravagant hospitality we have witnessed here. We will also look at these passages in light of what Steve and Bill said last week. (Leviticus 19:33-34; Hebrews 13:1-2; Psalm 105; Exodus 16:2-15; Matthew 20:1-16)
The children will hear the story of God giving the Israelites the gift of manna when they were refugees fleeing from slavery in Egypt.
We will sing what is known as “The Black National Anthem,” the great “Lift Every Voice and Sing,” plus two hymns written by other outstanding hymnodists of the past fifty years, “The Church of Christ in Every Age” and “Community of Christ” (sung to the tune of “The God of Abraham Praise”).
The choir will sing two verses of “Help Us Accept Each Other” as the Introit, “Ahavat Olam (With Everlasting Love)” as the Anthem, and “Lead Us to Act Justly” as the Choral Benediction. Annemieke will play pieces by J.B. Lully, Chopin and Debussy.
Here is a popular YouTube of “Lift Every Voice and Sing” including the lyrics: