Illuminated Beatitudes—Arts & Spirituality Worship Service
August 14, 2022
During this service, Jesus’ Beatitudes are read, along with brief interpretations of each Beatitude, and hymns are sung—while ART from all over Planet Earth, from ancient times to this very day—is displayed on the big screens. The purpose is to engage us at another level in Jesus’ core teaching and action.
PRELUDE: Kum Ba Ya—African American Spiritual, arr. Adolphus Hailstork
CALL TO RETURN TO OUR SOULS
Pastor: Life is this simple:
People: We are living in a world
Pastor: That is absolutely transparent.
People: And God is shining through it all the time.
Pastor: This is not just a fable or a nice story.
People: It is true.
Pastor: If we abandon ourselves to God
People: And forget ourselves,
Pastor: We see it sometimes,
People: And maybe we even see it frequently.
Pastor: God appears everywhere, in everything,
People: And we cannot be without God.
Pastor: The only thing is, we need to “see it”.
—Thomas Merton, Benedictine Monk, writer, global activist
HYMN: My Shepherd Will Supply My Need GTG803
CALL TO CONFESSION AND COMMITMENT
Pastor: I remind you again today!
People: Violence against poor people and minority groups is routine.
Pastor: I remind you again today that that starving a child is violence.
People Suppressing a culture is violence.
Pastor Neglecting school children is violence.
People: Ghetto housing is violence.
Pastor: Ignoring medical needs and healthcare is violence.
People: Contempt for equality is violence.
Pastor: And watch this!
People: Even a lack of willpower
Pastor: And an apathetic spirit
People: That refuses to challenge these other forms of violence
Pastor: Is itself violent.
People: So sometimes the question for us is,
Pastor: Are we going to be on the side of violence or non-violence? Amen.
—Coretta Scott King
SUNG RESPONSE CELEBRATING GOD’S GRACE: Halle, Halle, Hallelujah! GTG#591
ILLUMINATED BEATITUDES The interpretative text for this arts and spirituality service was written about fifteen years ago by Marian Thomas, retired Music Director and Organist of Westport Presbyterian Church. Some very slight edits to the text have been made over the years, typically to synchronize with new art, in order to keep the presentation timely. The art has been chosen and continually updated by Rev Scott.
1. Blessed are the poor in spirit for theirs is the Kingdom of Heaven. Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.
HYMN: Lord, Make Us More Holy GTG#313
2. Blessed are the meek for they shall inherit the earth….Blessed are those who hunger and thirst after righteousness. For they shall be filled….Blessed are the merciful. For they shall obtain mercy.”
HYMN: Be Thou My Vision GTG #450
3. Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God….Blessed are the peacemakers. For they shall be called children of God.”
HYMN: Come and Find the Quiet Center STF#2128
4. “Blessed are those who are persecuted for the sake of righteousness . . . Blessed are you when they insult you and persecute you and utter every kind of evil against you falsely because of me” For theirs is the kingdom of heaven… So rejoice! And be glad, for your reward will be great in heaven.”
HYMN: God is Here GTG#409
ANTHEM: O Love that Will Not Let Me Go—Carson Cooman; Today we welcome Jonathan Moldovan, guest tenor.
PRAYER: Matthew 25 Prayer—Lord’s Prayer—
CONGREGATIONAL SUNG RESPONSE: Come, Bring Your Burdens to God GTG851
OFFERTORY: If with All Your Hearts (from Elijah)__Falix Mendelssohn; Jonathan Moldovan, guest tenor
UNISON PRAYER OF DEDICATION (Do not read the words in parentheses, they are there to identify the source of quotes)
May we know the honor of being a human being. (Jake Swamp, Haudenosaunee/Iroquois) May we share the honor of being a human being. Let us unite a frightened world by acts of kindness. (inspiration at start of pandemic) Hate has no home here. (a 9 year old Muslim child wrote these words on a sign for a protest at Chicago’s airport when the January 27, 2017 travel ban from Muslim countries was announced) Let hate have no home where you are. Love your enemies. (Jesus) Replace apathy with curiosity, violence with community. (Fred Culver) May our capacity for God be reborn. Always remember— What you give, you have. (Roman soldier) Amen.
CLOSING HYMN: Wade in the Water STF#2107
SUNG BENEDICTION RESPONSE: Send Me, Jesus GTG#746
POSTLUDE: Vonn Gott will ich nicht lassen (From God I will not stray)—Johann Krebs
ZOOM Bible Study is this Wednesday, 6:30-7:30 p.m. Let Rev Scott know if you want the link sent to you. We are studying Mark 2:13-28