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May this be a uniting place

around grace

and truth

and love


A gathering place

where creed does not matter

and background is not mentioned

and past is forgotten


May this be a holy pace

that reorientates


renews the world


And in the retelling of ancient stories

that speak into our contemporary world


Let us worship




Judah went down from his brothers, settling near a certain Adullamite whose name was Hirah. There, Judah saw the daughter of a Canaanite whose name was Shua; he married her and bore a son; and he named him Er. Again she conceived and bore a son whom she named Onan. Yet again she bore a son, and she named him Shelah. 



Judah took a wife for Er his firstborn; called Tamar. But Er died… so under leverite marriage laws… Tamar who had no children was married on to Onan… but Onan, the story tells us, did was was wrong in the sight of the Lord… (You can read that for yourself in Genesis 38)… and died… Tamar then ought to have been married on to Shelah… but Judah began to think there was a curse on Tamar and so while she was promised in marriage to Shelah… she was never married to him… so Tamar was trapped… promised in marriage… but remained a widow and therefore unsupported… 



In course of time the wife of Judah, Shuah’s daughter, died; when Judah’s time of mourning was over, he went up to Timnah to his sheepshearers, he and his friend Hirah the Adullamite. 13 When Tamar was told, “Your father-in-law is going up to Timnah to shear his sheep,” 14 she put off her widow’s garments, put on a veil, wrapped herself up, and sat down at the entrance to Enaim, which is on the road to Timnah. She saw that Shelah was grown up, yet she had not been given to him in marriage. 15 When Judah saw her, he thought her to be a prostitute, for she had covered her face. 



The next bit you can probably guess… Judah, not knowing it was Tamar… had relations with her… thinking she was a temple prostitute… When she asked for payment… Judah said he’d send a goat… “Fine, she said, only if you give me a pledge as proof you will do so”… He gave her his signet ring, cord and staff…



20 When Judah sent the kid by his friend the Adullamite, to recover the pledge from the woman, he could not find her. 21 He asked the townspeople, “Where is the temple prostitute who was at Enaim by the wayside?” But they said, “No prostitute has been here.” 22 So he returned to Judah, and said, “I have not found her; moreover the townspeople said, ‘No prostitute has been here.’”



About three months later… it was discovered that Tamar was pregnant… She had disgraced herself and the family… and so there was only one leal course of action… and Judah said… 



“Bring her out, and let her be burned.”



At that point… Tamar sent to her father in law, Judah, a note with the pledges which said… 



“It was the owner of these who made me pregnant.” And she said, “Take note, please, whose these are, the signet and the cord and the staff.”



His servant brought them to Judah who was in his tent… then left him on his own… Judah paused… recognising them… but no shame was brought on him… because only he knew whose they were… and said penitently… “She is more in the right than I, since I did not give her to my son Shelah.” 



27 When the time of her delivery came, there were twins in her womb. 28 While she was in labour, one put out a hand; and the midwife took and bound on his hand a crimson thread, saying, “This one came out first.” 29 But just then he drew back his hand, and out came his brother; and she said, “What a breach you have made for yourself!” Therefore he was named Perez.[c] 30 Afterward his brother came out with the crimson thread on his hand; and he was named Zerah.[d]


                            Genesis 38 11:6-26




Creating One

in that on going


ever renewing creation

we gather


a place where what has been done

is let go

and what is yet to be

is hoped in


In this creative place

where letting go

and forgiving

and renewing

all come together

we gather


because we need to


to lay down here

the woes of our world

and the worries of our own

the hurts of our land

and the wrongs of ourselves


that we might

in honesty

and humility

with a penitence of faith

and a hope of grace

be renewed


That we might turn from that which lessens us

reduces our humanity

and leave that here

in this holy place


and dare believe

that can be renewed



into this new day

and that we might follow you

more closely

more faithfully

more generously


Ever recreating God

may we trust that truth is alive in us



that love never leaves us alone

or unchanged

or forgotten

and each day

is a new day

in you


and you have plenty of these


So we gather

that we might renew our souls

recharge our hope

and refocus our living


So be it


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