Worship this World Communion Sunday will delve more deeply into the way to build unity in this world that is so bitterly and tragically divided. The service will follow up last Sunday’s sermon that you can read here.
We will look at scriptures for ancient wisdom (Psalm 25, Exodus 17:1-7, Philippians 2, Matthew 21:23-32), and we will hear modern wisdom as well (Abe Lincoln, Thomas Merton, Richard Rohr), all of which consistently point to the humble path that Christ modeled and taught, a path that the church has too often abandoned leading to divisions, oppression and even wars.
We desperately need to return to that wise way, and the good news is that many in the church are recognizing it. We live in an exciting time of renewal of one of the most beautiful and transformative streams of Christian tradition. The motto of the United Church of Christ is taken from Jesus’ final prayer, “That they may all be one.” The mystical and contemplative path of all religions leads to that oneness. It is our hope.
We will hear the beauty of that spirit in the music. In honor of World Communion we will sing the haunting Mexican folk song “Pues si vivimos” (you can listen below), and the African-American spiritual setting of “In Christ There Is No East or West,” and a classical European tune by Robert Schumann with contemporary words, “When We Can See As God Can See.” The choir will sing the soulful South African Freedom Song, “Send Me, Lord,” and the gorgeous “Requiem” by Eliza Gilkyson. (If you have ever considered singing in the choir, this would be a great Sunday to start, with two of the most beautiful and spiritually moving pieces in the repertoire. All you need to do is show up at 9:00 sharp on Sunday morning and open your heart and let it sing!)
Here is a beautiful solo YouTube recording of the hymn “Pues si vivimos.”