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"After Sunday worship I feel refreshed and ready to start a new week. Worship calms me and makes me want to be a more giving and forgiving person."

 

 "I am here to share my soul, body, and mind with our bigger family who shares our worship to God and the entire universe.  This is my worship experience at church."

 

Worship at FCC Essex follows a traditional liturgy, but God still speaks to the world today from these ancient words and rituals as if they were new.  Music and spirit and art and words and silence center us and inform us.  Our style of worship brings comfort, soothes the spirit, challenges the mind, strengthens our love of each other, and empowers us for doing good in the world.

 

We share our church home with Ivoryton Congregational Church.  They worship Sundays at 8:45 am.  We worship at 10:30 am.

 

Other special services of worship are celebrated throughout the year during Advent (Christmas) and Lent, as well as ecumenical events with other churches in Essex and within the UCC.

 

 

 

May 27, 2018

Trinity Sunday

(worshiping this week at Trinity Luteran Church)

 

 

 

Isaiah 6:1-8
Psalm 29
Romans 8:12-17
John 3:1-17


Reflection On Isaiah 6:1-8

Have you ever had a glimpse of God's majesty and power and awesomeness? Some folks experience God's call as a quiet, intuitive experience, while others would describe it as dramatic, even fearsome, one that shakes them to their core. It's a paradox of our faith that the God of power and might is also the intimate, close-at-hand God who speaks to us in our loneliest need and fretful questioning. How eager has your response been to the opportunities God has given you to speak a word beyond yourself?

This text from Isaiah speaks to us, as individuals and as communities of faith, when we are prone to complacency and to the simple maintenance of respectability and even to just plain survival, rather than thinking of "glory"--the glory of God, that is. Brueggemann, in his prayers, notes the inclination of religious people, faithful people, to "arrange our lives as best we can, to keep your holiness at bay, with our pieties, our doctrines, our liturgies, our moralities, our secret ideologies, safe, virtuous, settled."

Still, God's "insisting, demanding" call, to which we may or may not respond well, is not simply one of commanding us as servants; rather, Brueggemann says that we are by God's "holiness made our true selves." So Isaiah's call, or rather, God's call to Isaiah, and Isaiah's fearful but faithful and humble response, leads him to his true identity as God's servant, God's creature, God's child (Awed to Heaven, Rooted in Earth).

Immanence or transcendence

Perhaps a church will stress immanence or transcendence, one over the other, or even neglect one entirely. Scholars note the similarities between the scene before God's throne here in this text and the order of many worship services, with praise ("Holy, Holy, Holy," we often sing) and confession and forgiveness, along with the charge to take God's message out into the world. If you stop and think about each part of your worship service, do you experience God as both transcendent and near at hand, present within your life personally and yet so far beyond anything we might describe?

There is a foundation-shaking reality behind our words and our actions in worship, an utter holiness beneath our feeble attempts to pray and praise such an awesome God. How do our liturgy and the beauty of our sanctuaries even begin to touch the hem of such a robe, a robe so great that it "filled the temple"? I remember many filmstrips from my Catholic religion classes that included this scene, with God (presumably, God the Father) portrayed as a king on a throne (often, God was a represented by a triangle with beams of light emanating from it, appropriately for Trinity Sunday).


Read the scriptures and this entire reflection here.