At the conclusion of today’s sermon, we used this litany in worship this morning. Written by my friend Kathryn Nicole (shared with her permission).
Based on Philippians 3:4b-14
Litany of Loss and Hope:
Voice One (Present):
We are confident in the flesh,
in the flesh of skin and bone,
in the flesh we call our own,
in the Church we have made our own.
Voice Two (Past):
is confidence in flesh,
is righteousness on the cross,
is the Church which lies ahead.
Let us together name all we have lost,
let us forget what lies behind,
let us strain forward to what lies ahead,
let us press on toward a heavenly call in Christ Jesus.
Meditation on the Sermon: We Suffer the Loss of All Things
As a response to the sermon, you are invited to come to the cross. On a piece of paper write down a word or phrase of one way the Church has failed to live up to your hopes or expectations. Place your paper on the cross and return prayerfully. If you are unable to come forward, the worship leaders will come to you. Some of these prayers will be read aloud. If you would prefer yours not be read, please write “unspoken” on your piece of paper.
(While people were writing their losses and hurts at the cross, “Losing My Religion” by REM, “Better Days” by Goo Goo Dolls, and “Already Home” by Marc Cohn played on the sound system. Then we read a selection of people’s comments and put them in the trash, calling out “rubbish”).
Litany of the People
Past: Christ Jesus, We are confident in the flesh
Present: We rely on our flesh
Past: Circumcised on the eighth day
Present: In worship every Sunday
Past: A member of the people of Israel,
Present: An American in ‘God’s Country’.
Past: Of the tribe of Benjamin
Present: A member of the Presbyterian Church U.S.A.
Past: A Hebrew born of Hebrews
Present: A Christian born of Christians
Past: As to the law, a Pharisee
Present: As to the commandments, an Elder
Past: As to zeal, a persecutor of the church
Present: As to piety, a persecutor of other churches
Past: As to righteousness under the law, blameless
Present: A man of God, a woman of God
Past: We have suffered the loss of all things,
Present: We regard everything as loss
Congregation: We regard them as rubbish
Past: In order that we might gain Christ and be found in him
Present: In order that our righteousness may come through faith in Christ
Congregation: In order we might be of the same mind.