Shake the Dust off Your Feet

Call to Worship (sung):
Gathered here in the presence of this hour
Gathered here in one strong body
Gathered here in the mercy and the power
Spirit draw near
(from the New Century Hymnal)

Song:
"Balm in Gilead"

Leader:

As we go about this work of peacemaking, we encounter people who jolt our spirits and disorient us. Active peacemaking requires a comfortable corridor of spiritual centeredness. To maintain that centeredness we need rituals to nurture our center and drive away the evil that assaults us – distorting our words, attacking our reputation, insulting and belittling us. We need rituals that call us back to our own spirit.

Scripture/Reflection:

Matthew 10:5, 7-16
5 Jesus sent them out with the following instructions:
7 "As you go, preach this message: 'The kingdom of heaven is near'.
8 Heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse those who have leprosy, drive out demons. Freely you have received, freely give.
9 Do not take along any gold or silver or copper in your belts;
10 Take no bag for the journey, or extra tunic, or sandals or a staff; for the worker is worth his or her keep.
11 Whatever town or village you enter, search for some worthy person there and stay in that house until you leave.
12 As you enter the home, give it your greeting.
13 If the home is deserving, let your peace rest on it; if it is not, let your peace return to you.
14 If anyone will not welcome you or listen to your words, shake the dust off your feet when you leave that home or town.
15 I tell you the truth, it will be more bearable for Sodom and Gomorrah on the day of judgment than for that town.
16 I am sending you out like sheep among wolves. Therefore be as wise as serpents and as innocent as doves.


Reflections
What are some of the things in this work that tend to pull you off center? What helps you return to your center?


Song:
"Be Not Afraid"


Ritual:
In Laos and Northeastern Thailand, people observe an ancient tradition of having someone tie a string around their wrist to ward off evil spirits and tug themselves back to their own center. The string can be plain and simple, or colorful and woven. It is used especially when traveling to a new or different place. As we sing "Nada Te Turbe," you are invited to tie this woven "pulsera" from Chiapas around the wrist of another person in the circle. May this string serve as a reminder to bring us back to that center within where the Spirit of God dwells and our deepest values and vision are nurtured.

Song:
"Guide My Feet"

Prayer

Benediction (by Daniel Berrigan):

All: Send us forth
Reader 1: as you sent Mary Magdalene, to announce the good news, the only news, the news forever new; your resurrection.
All: Send us forth
Reader 2: as you sent the twelve, to confront murderous power, to walk peaceably amid the fires of violence.
All: Send us forth
Reader 3: as you sent the first Christians, to act as fools for your Christ's sake.
All: Send us forth
Reader 4: that reviled, we may bless; that persecuted, we may endure; that slandered, we may reconcile.
All: Send us forth
Reader 5: to places likely and unlikely; to the seats of power and strife, that we may deny their dominion with a fearless word; to the dwellings of the powerless, that we may bring hope, and win hope.
All: Send us forth
Reader 6: to those who love, to those who fear, to those who are indifferent; that we may sow love where there is no love, and so bring forth love.
All: Send us forth
Reader 7: as your word goes forth, and returns heavy with a harvest of peace.
All: Send us forth
Reader 8: bid us return, knowing that near or afar, our names are written in your heart.
All: Amen.

Closing Songs:
"Farewell Blessing"
"We are Marching in the Light of God"