Last Sunday Mark Kutolowski spoke about spiritual liberation, about becoming free in life to be our truest, best selves and enjoy the greatest and only lasting meaning, fulfillment and happiness that a person can experience. This week we will be looking at scriptures that offer insights into how we can attain that freedom and what that means we will do in the world and how the world will change. (Note: if you pay attention to the world-wide lectionary you will see that we are going to read next week’s passages this week and this week’s next week.)
Psalm 15 asks who may abide in God’s tent, on God’s holy hill? In other words, who is liberated, who is free enough of attachment to the material world to live daily life as in God’s realm on earth? James 1:17-27 tells us that the key is to be doers of the word and not hearers only—to be receptive and responsive to the gifts of light and love that God pours into us to share with the world and especially with the poorest and most vulnerable, liberating them from oppression. We will hear Jesus teach that it is not conforming to human tradition or rules but where we are coming from inside that matters. The inner impulse that motivates our actions determines whether we are living as children of God.
Spiritual liberation is a matter of the heart first, and then the actions that come from our heart—contemplation and action as our church covenant puts it.
We will sing the African-American and Civil Rights Movement spiritual, “Woke Up This Morning” and the beloved old hymn, “Spirit of God, Descend Upon My Heart,” as well as a new hymn, “To Be a Doer of the Word” set to the tune Tallis’ Canon. The choir will sing the inspiring, uplifting “I’m Gonna Lift My Sister Up” by Faya Rose Toure as arranged by the Amidons, as well as the Edith Newlin Chase poem “Still There Is Love,” also from the Amidons, and “Célébrons sans cesse” by O. di Lasso (1532- 1594), “Celebrate, without ceasing the gifts of God.” Pianist Annemieke McLane will play three pieces by Erensto Lecuona.
This would be a great Sunday to sing with the choir, if you have ever considered doing so. Annemieke will be conducting and accompanying. All you have to do is arrive at the church at 8:50 AM Sunday morning and love to sing! No prior experience or religious affiliation or long term commitment necessary. See the YouTube video below for a flavor of what you will be singing this Sunday–the quality is not perfect and the first seconds are missing, but this UU choir captures the spirit!