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Affirmation of Faith for Holy Humor Sunday

We believe in God who was before all things, maker of all things, source of all life. We were made in God’s image for vital work in this world – to do justice, to speak truth, to live in love. But we recognize that God’s image also blossoms in our lighter side when we are curious, playful, laughing. God has given us the gift of humor to laugh at ourselves, to unmask the weaknesses of sin, and to turn back to the arms of love. In Christ Jesus, God came and walked among us, teaching us to embrace the weightier matters with a light touch. Though we sinned and rejected him, he still chose to die for us. The forces of evil grasped to contain him, but he arose, laughing, breaking all the bounds of sin and death. As we follow him, we laugh with him, following the true light that cannot be conquered. We believe in the Holy Spirit who teaches us to smile, to bear with difficulty, and to endure from now until the joyful resolution of all creation. We look forward to the coming kingdom of heaven where laughter and love resound in every home and every heart. Amen.

 

Rev. Elana Keppel Levy, Trinity Presbyterian Church, Bixby, OK

Transfiguration Hymn: We Seek to Follow Christ

Note: please include copyright info when reproducing hymns. Permission is granted for church use.

Text: Rev. Elana Keppel Levy, 2018
Tune: TERRA BEATA (“This Is My Father’s World”, Glory to God #370)

1. The disciples followed Christ
Up a high mountain apart.
He preached the Word, but they had not heard
The wisdom from his heart.
We seek to follow Christ
And listen for his call.
Help us to hear, even though we fear
Our faith may prove too small.

2. And before their very eyes
They saw him shining bright.
His face, his clothes, his very soul
Were bathed in glorious light.
We seek to follow Christ
With vision pure and clear
To see his glow everywhere we go
And to his truth draw near.

3. The disciples wanted Christ
And prophets from the past
To stay in tents, but they could not sense
The moment would not last.
We seek to follow Christ
Through what we can control.
Give us the nerve to let go and serve
G-d’s glory to extol.

Submitted by Rev. Elana Keppel Levy, Trinity Presbyterian Church in Bixby, Okla.

Should you prefer to have music and words interlined, the PDF is downloadable here:

Litany to Commemorate the Victims of 9/11

On this day we remember the fear and the anger, the shock and the chaos that shrouded our nation 15 years ago.  We cried out that day for answers, for peace, for justice. We shed countless tears for lives lost, for families ripped apart, for people missing and injured.

We will not forget the beauty of each soul that fell that day – the promise that their lives held, the hopes they had for the future.

We remember the 2,606 innocent victims of the Twin Towers. Abide with us, G-d. 

We remember the 125 innocent victims at the Pentagon. Abide with us, G-d.

We remember the 246 innocent victims on the airplanes. Abide with us, G-d.

We remember the first responders – the police and firefighters and paramedics – who faced the chaos with unimaginable courage to save and give hope to all that they could. We remember those who survived and the 411 who perished in the line of duty. Abide with us, G-d.

Holy G-d, we know that you hold their lives in your hands. Though they have fallen here, they are not lost forever. Through your Spirit, you have lifted them up, close to your heart where there is no more death or sorrow or crying or pain.

We cry out to you once more this day, Almighty G-d. Give us the courage to be peacemakers, to carry on in love, to have hearts uncorrupted by hatred. Speak to those who would be lured by the power and madness, the violence and the evil that is terrorism in our world. Show them that this seeming power is never the final victor. Touch their hearts so that they may see that love is stronger than death, that goodness is stronger than evil, that light casts out all darkness. Give them a way forward so that the world may be a home for all of us.

Gracious G-d, hear our prayer. Amen.

 

Submitted by Rev. Elana Keppel Levy, Trinity Presbyterian Church in Bixby, OK

**Note from the author: I envisioned a ritual to go along with this litany. We have a large, clear glass jar on the chancel. As each group of victims is listed, we will drop flower petals of different colors into the water. In the prayer following, the water is swirled so that the petals are seen being lifted.