Jesus tells a parable about a king who throws a party. But there's a problem. Nobody comes! And what does the king do in response? He burns down the whole town. Ouch. Throughout the centuries, many Christians have interpreted this parable as a story of divine judgment. If you reject God's party, God will act like the king and reject you. But is that really what Jesus is saying in this parable? If so, I personally would rather be an atheist than believe in such a vindictive God. In light of Jesus' life, death, and resurrection, I think there is a better way to understand this parable. I look forward to exploring it today. It's also National Coming Out Day! Today we will proclaim the belovedness of our LGBTQIA siblings. Thank God for those of us who are LGBTQIA!
Adam: God be with you. All: And also with you.
Welcome and Announcements – Adam Ericksen
Lighting of the Peace Candle – Larry Kirk and Adam
Adam: Our tradition at CUCC is to light a peace candle at the beginning of each worship service to center ourselves around the Peace of God. Larry will lead us in the liturgy as Gavin lights the candle…
Larry: I invite you to join us in lighting the peace candle…
All: We pray for peace in our hearts, in our homes, in our communities, in our nations, and in our worlds.
*Call to Worship – Larry
Larry: Please join us in the call to worship…
Larry: In the midst of fear and anger; in the midst of mayhem and destruction, God calls us into another way.
All: But who is this God?
Larry: This is the God of love who invites everyone to the feast of joy.
All: But what if we are too busy and distracted by other things? Will God reject us?
Larry: No. God never rejects us. We may reject one another and God, but God always comes to us with the invitation of love.
All: May we receive God’s love and share it with everyone. Amen.
*Passing of the Peace – Larry
Larry: Friends, although we are physically separated as we practice social distance, in reality we are all connected. And so we come to the point in our service where we pass the peace with one another. I invite you to open your palms up like this and imagine yourself connected to everyone watching this livestream as we pass the peace to one another.
Larry: Beloved of God, may the peace of Christ be with you.
All: And also with you.
Invitation to the Offering Adam Ericksen
Song: Sweet Hour of Prayer, sung by Rhonda, Debbie, Jeff, and Dave
Prayers of the People – Adam (After each prayer, Adam will say, “God in your love” and you are invited to respond with “hear our prayers.”)
Community Prayer and Lord’s Prayer – Larry
Our God, Who art in Heaven, Hallowed by thy name. Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread, and forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. For Thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, forever and ever. Amen.
Sermon – The Case for Christian Atheism on National Coming Out Day
*Unison Benediction – Larry Kirk May God bless you and keep you. May God’s face shine upon you and be gracious unto you. May God look upon you with kindness and bring you peace. This day and forevermore. Amen -Numbers 6:24-26