Resurrection Morning

Opening

Open our hearts Resurrected One to all the places within us and around us longing for life. 

Reflection

These last two years we have known so much grief.                                       

We have been isolated from loved ones. Families bore the toll of being  home and school and work. People experienced job loss. In this pandemic loss and death have been ever present. 

Jesus entered that deep place of grief and death for us,

to breathe life and healing

into all the grieving and broken places within us.

He emerges from the tomb to offer life and hope

and Divine Companionship in ways we couldn’t imagine.

Hear the Good News.

Invitation

 Scripture: Luke 24:1-12

“But on the first day of the week, at early dawn, they came to the tomb, taking the spices that they had prepared. They found the stone rolled away from the tomb, but when they went in, they did not find the body.  While they were perplexed about this, suddenly two men in dazzling clothes stood beside them.  The women were terrified and bowed their faces to the ground, but the men said to them, “Why do you look for the living among the dead? He is not here, but has risen.  Remember how he told you, while he was still in Galilee, that the Son of Man must be handed over to sinners, and be crucified, and on the third day rise again.”  Then they remembered his words,  and returning from the tomb, they told all this to the eleven and to all the rest. Now it was Mary Magdalene, Joanna, Mary the mother of James, and the other women with them who told this to the apostles.  But these words seemed to them an idle tale, and they did not believe them. But Peter got up and ran to the tomb; stooping and looking in, he saw the linen cloths by themselves; then he went home, amazed at what had happened.”

Prayer of Response

Dear Resurrected One,

Thank You for the light that shatters the darkness

and permeates every corner where death and loss are found.

Thank you for the gift of life that is a resurrected one 

and not a resuscitated one,

a life that is new and moves us beyond everything we have known.

For although this world still knows dark and broken places,

the life we know in you is like the sun’s beams 

breaking through the clouds and shining its light as a healing balm within. 

You shed your loving, healing, light into every space and place.

Thank you for your love that did not and does not stop.

Your love and light reach to us covering us 

in a beautiful display that will not let us go.

May we be healed by it. 

Grant us strength and hope through this unfathomable gift.

And shine that healing and permeating light

through us into the world around us.

Glory. Hallelujah, Amen. 

Rev. Eva Sullivan-Knoff,

Founder and Executive Director

Good Friday

April 15, 2022

Undying Love

Opening

Divine One, as I with great heartache follow you to the cross, I continue to pray these words from the song in Godspell, 

Day by day, oh, dear Lord, 

three things I pray

To see thee more clearly

Love thee more dearly

Follow thee more nearly, day by day

Scripture Isaiah 53: 4-6

“Surely he has borne our infirmities and carried our diseases; yet we accounted him stricken, struck down by God, and afflicted. But he was wounded for our transgressions, crushed for our iniquities; upon him was the punishment that made us whole, and by his bruises we are healed. 

All we like sheep have gone astray; we have all turned to our own way, and the LORD has laid on him the iniquity of us all.”

Prayer of Response

Holy One,

How can we begin to respond

to the horror that You knew?

We are humbled, heartbroken,

and silenced…

Forgive us Holy One.

We pause to sit quietly in these moments,

mindful of all you have given…

Your eyes have always been on us.

Your heart has always been with ours. 

We are moved by Your undying love,

which knows no end.

It heals us and makes us new.

We desire to be Your loving reflection

and healing presence in the world around us. 

You are our life.

We continue to journey with You

through these holy days.

Amen.


Rev. Eva Sullivan-Knoff,

Founder and Executive Director

Palm Sunday

April 10, 2022

Love Offering

Opening

Divine One, as I follow you on the road to the cross and the empty tomb, I draw closer still, while I continue to pray these words from the song in Godspell, 

Day by day, oh, dear Lord, 

three things I pray

To see thee more clearly

Love thee more dearly

Follow thee more nearly, day by day

Scripture  Luke 19:35b-40

“after throwing their cloaks on the colt, they set Jesus on it. 

As he rode along, people kept spreading their cloaks on the road.

As he was now approaching the path down from the Mount of Olives, the whole multitude of the disciples began to praise God joyfully with a loud voice for all the deeds of power that they had seen, saying, “Blessed is the king who comes in the name of the Lord! Peace in heaven, and glory in the highest heaven!” Some of the Pharisees in the crowd said to him, “Teacher, order your disciples to stop.” He answered, “I tell you, if these were silent, the stones would shout out.”

Prayer of Response

Our Holy One,

We humbly bow before you in praise and adoration

for all who you are, and all you have done.

We follow you closely

through the journey of this week.

Awaken us to notice your undying love,

Your unswerving intention, 

And your continual focus on us.

Help us to take this in. 

We love you oh Gracious One.

Amen.

© 2022 Rev. Eva Sullivan-Knoff,

Founder and Executive Director

The Celebration of Christmas

Our Embodied God

 

Opening

As we are present to this unimaginable good news, may it wholly permeate us.

 

Invitation

Compassionate God, open us to all the ways your love and presence come to us.

 

Reflection

Scripture Reading: Luke 2:8-14

“In that region there were shepherds living in the fields, keeping watch over their flock by night. Then an angel of the Lord stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid; for see–I am bringing you good news of great joy for all the people: to you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is the Messiah, the Lord. This will be a sign for you: you will find a child wrapped in bands of cloth and lying in a manger.” And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host, praising God and saying, “Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace among those whom he favors!”

Read “Our Embodied God” a few times. Pause and reflect on a word or phrase where you are drawn.

 

Our Embodied God

Into the darkness of night, the light comes.

It expands and covers everything.

Love is born in the Christ child,

who enters our mess to be present to us:

in each of the places we find ourselves,

into our sorrow and grief,

our pain and our angst,

into our questions and our doubts,

and into our brokenness.

The joyful shouts cry out,

“Glory to God in the highest Heaven.”

They cry out to the God who sees us,

The God who hears us,

who comes embodied as one of us,

human and yet Divine.

Emmanuel, God with us,

lovingly walks beside us,

joyfully resides within us.

Glory Hallelujah to this

incarnated expression of love. Amen.

© 2021, Rev. Eva Sullivan-Knoff

Leaning Into Hope

Fourth Week of Advent

 

Opening

As the darkness deepens, the promise of light grows. Awaken us to your presence in this time and within us always.

 

Invitation

God of Hope, keep us attentive to you, leaning into you as we wait.

 

Reflection

Scripture Reading: Luke 1: 39-45

In those days Mary set out and went with haste to a Judean town in the hill country, where she entered the house of Zechariah and greeted Elizabeth.

When Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting, the child leaped in her womb. And Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit and exclaimed with a loud cry, “Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb.

And why has this happened to me, that the mother of my Lord comes to me? For as soon as I heard the sound of your greeting, the child in my womb leaped for joy. And blessed is she who believed that there would be a fulfillment of what was spoken to her by the Lord.”

Read “Leaning into Hope” a few times. Pause and reflect on a word or phrase where you are drawn.

 

Leaning into Hope

As the darkness extends,

we continue to wait for so much:

for peace in our world;

for an end to the virus

and a world without the necessity of masks;

for the ability to gather easily with loved ones;

for an end to racism and injustice;

for an end to all isms;

for sorrow to give birth to joy;

for our hearts to be comforted;

and our spirits lifted up;

to see more of You dear God;

lived out and expressed among your people.

Mary carried Hope within

as it was embodied in you

Elizabeth recognized it and gave expression to it.

So while we wait in Hope

we are met with the promise

that you come and meet us where we are.

While we wait in Hope

we are reminded

that sometimes you are carried and expressed

through those with skin on.

God of Hope,

may we be those people

who carry you and give expression to you

in all ways everyday.

And when we are weary from the journey,

may we like Elizabeth find ourselves

met by someone with skin on

who reflects you.

And like Mary, may we lean into you

for you too, are embodied in us.

© 2021, Rev. Eva Sullivan-Knoff

Advent Invitation

Third Week of Advent

 

Opening

As the darkness deepens, the promise of light grows. Awaken me to your presence in this time and within me always.

 

Invitation

God of Hope, keep me attentive to you, leaning into you as I wait.

 

Reflection

Scripture Reading: Luke 3:11,16

“And the crowds asked him, “What then should we do?” In reply he said to them, “Whoever has two coats must share with anyone who has none; and whoever has food must do likewise.”…John answered all of them by saying, “I baptize you with water; but one who is more powerful than I is coming; I am not worthy to untie the thong of his sandals. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire.”

Read Advent Invitation a few times. Pause and reflect on a word or phrase where you are drawn.

 

Advent Invitation

Source of Life,

This season throws us.

While the darkness deepens,

the waiting aches for more.

And yet,

It is within this aching, this grieving

that something is being born.

You invite us

to watch and wait,

to listen and follow you.

As we ask “what then shall we do?”

we wait for your answer.

We trust that as life begins

in the darkness of the womb

so your light grows in the darkness within and around us.

Therefore, we follow wherever you may lead,

even when it is hard to find our way,

for we know you lead us by the hand

towards the light that comes. Amen.

Advent Light

Second Week of Advent

Opening 

Source of Life, as I sit here I breathe deeply, aware of your presence within me. Awaken me to your presence in this time and within me always.

 

Invitation

God of Hope, I quietly pray your name as I enter this time.

 

Reflection

As we begin Advent, we may feel disconnected because of all we and the world have been through in the last year. There is so much we long for, for ourselves, our loved ones, the community, and the world. We bring all that with us to this season and to the One who holds us close. 

 

Scripture Reading

Luke 1:68,  78,79

“Blessed be the Lord God of Israel,

    for he has looked favorably on his people and redeemed them.By the tender mercy of our God,  the dawn from on high will break upon us,

to give light to those who sit in darkness and in the shadow of death,

    to guide our feet into the way of peace.”

 

Read Advent Light through a few times. Pause and reflect on a word or phrase where you are drawn.

 

Advent Light

There are seasons when we strain our eyes

to see the light of your presence.

There are moments 

when the darkness encircles us 

and it seems like it is all we know.

When we struggle to glimpse the light

remind us that we are not alone

in the darkness,

but to look within

where you reside.

Train our unseeing eyes

for we carry the light of 

your presence within.  

And when we struggle still,

remind us 

that your tender mercy

ushers in the dawn

carrying with it your peace.

May it seep 

into the corners of our being.

And may it radiate through us

spilling out on those around us.

Amen.

 

Advent Longing

First Week of Advent

Opening

Divine One,  as I sit here with you, quiet my swirling thoughts, as you calmed the sea. Soothe my aching heart. Help me to know the comfort of your presence at this time, as I seek you.

 

Invitation

Take a moment or two and breathe in God’s name, “Emmanuel.” Inhale “Em-ma” and exhale “nuel”  Do this for a moment or two.

 

Reflection

As we begin Advent, we may feel unconnected or disconnected because of all we and the world have been through in the last year. There is so much we long for, for ourselves, our loved ones, the community, and the world. We bring all that with us to this season and to the One who holds us close. 

 

Read Advent Longing through a few times. Pause and reflect on a word or phrase on where you are drawn.

 

Advent Longing

Loving One,

As we begin this season

We do so as those who are straining through the fog

To glimpse a light to illuminate our path.

We are weary and overwhelmed with all that has been.

We long for your presence 

To be experienced in tangible ways.

This Advent,

Awaken us to notice you within us and around us.

Enfold us in your compassionate embrace

and remind us that in you, we are home.

 

Prayer

Thank you loving God that you love and receive us as we are with all we bring. Remind us and center us in that we are so loved by you. May it fill us with hope and peace. Connect us to each other as living expressions of your love in the world around us. Amen. 

A Betwixt and Between Thanksgiving

Our Source of life,

This Thanksgiving we find ourselves so changed.

The last two years have marked us, scarred us,

And left us wondering what is the new normal.

As we envision our thanksgiving table or gathering,

We are poignantly aware of those who don’t join us.

We have lost so much and so many.

The loss has knocked the wind out of us and yet

there is so much more that has splintered us,

There is so much more that has 

torn us away from our safe harbor

Knocking our moorings loose

setting us adrift.

Ideologies divide us more than ever before

White supremacy still takes life and abuses power

We have forgotten how to love.

We are stuck in this betwixt and between place

Removed from what was, not sure yet, what will be.

Divine Creator,

You who created the world and each one of us

awaken us to you within and around us

recognizing you in each other’s eyes

No matter what our name or where we call home.

Reach us and reach through us

With your compassion that makes room and space for all.

May your love and presence knit us together 

For the common good, as we heal together

And extend the table

To hold all whom you gather here.

Thank you Giver of Life

For the ways in which 

You keep on giving

We lean into you 

To show us the way

Beyond this place to the new normal.

~Rev. Eva Sullivan-Knoff, Executive Director

Resurrection Morning

Resurrection Morning
April 4, 2021

Opening
Open our hearts Resurrected One to all the places within us and around us longing for life.

Reflection
This last week and year we have known so much grief.
In this pandemic time with so many lives having been lost,
we have been touched by death in a pervasive way.
It has hung over us like a fog that hovers and clings to us.
Jesus entered that deep place of grief and death for us,
to bring us to today, to speak life and healing
into all the grieving and broken places within us.
He emerges from the tomb to offer life and hope
and Divine Companionship in ways we couldn’t imagine.
Hear the Good News.

Invitation
Scripture: Mark 16:1-8
Saturday evening, when the Sabbath ended, Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James, and Salome went out and purchased burial spices so they could anoint Jesus’ body. Very early on Sunday morning, just at sunrise, they went to the tomb. On the way they were asking each other, “Who will roll away the stone for us from the entrance to the tomb?” But as they arrived, they looked up and saw that the stone, which was very large, had already been rolled aside. When they entered the tomb, they saw a young man clothed in a white robe sitting on the right side. The women were shocked, but the angel said, “Don’t be alarmed. You are looking for Jesus of Nazareth, who was crucified. He isn’t here! He is risen from the dead! Look, this is where they laid his body. Now go and tell his disciples, including Peter, that Jesus is going ahead of you to Galilee. You will see him there, just as he told you before he died.” The women fled from the tomb, trembling and bewildered, and they said nothing to anyone because they were too frightened.

Prayer of Response
Dear Resurrected One,
Thank You for the light that shatters the darkness
and permeates every corner where death and loss are found.
Thank you for the gift of life that is a resurrected one
and not a resuscitated one,
a life that is new and moves us beyond everything we have known.
For although this world still knows dark and broken places,
the life we know in you is like the sun’s beams
breaking through the clouds and shining its light as a healing balm within.
You shed your loving, healing, light into every space and place.
Thank you for your love that did not and does not stop.
Your love and light reach to us covering us
in a beautiful display that will not let us go.
May we be healed by it.
Grant us strength and hope through this unfathomable gift.
And shine that healing and permeating light
through us into the world around us.
Glory. Hallelujah, Amen.

Rev. Eva Sullivan-Knoff,
Founder and Executive Director