A service that used the civil rights anthems from the 60's instead of hymns
A: There are words of justice
B: and words of faith
A: and words of the past
B: that speak into words of today
A: songs that were sung then
B: are sung now
A: for the longing is the same
B: the hope is as strong
A: from civil rights
B: to ban the bomb
A: words about equality
B: to make love not war
A: began in much older times
B: when the words were love your neighbour
A: do unto others
B: turn the other cheek
A: be salt in the world
B: ask, seek and knock
A: ancient as these are
B: they speak into every generation
A: for the speak into the troubles
B: the possibility of God
The Story of Ruth
A: There was a famine in Israel. Because of it a Hebrew family from the city of Bethlehem… moved to Moa.. a different country east of the Dead Sea. Elimelich and his wife Naomi had two sons who married Moabite women… Orpah and Ruth… but in time Elimelich and his sons died which left the three widows in Moab.
B: I must go back to Bethlehem, but I will leave my two daughters-in-law here to marry again, Moabite men.Yet they beg to travel with me… But I have no more sons.. .and even if I were to marry again… and bear sons… these daughters-in-law… would not be able to wait for them to grow up.
A: One of the daughters-in-law, Orpah, decided to stay in Moab. The other daughter-in-law, Ruth, said that she would stay with Naomi. saying… “Don’t ask me not to leave you, for whoever you go… I will go… Wherever you make a home… I will lodge too… your people shall be my people too… and your God… my God”…
B: Well let us return to my home… together.. .you will be a stranger in a strange land… but we will be together.. .
A: As they had no money and no men to take care of them, Ruth went into the fields to gather whatever grain she could. One land owner, Boaz, noticed Ruth and asked his workers to be kind to her and leave plenty of grain for her and her mother-in-law.
B: She told me of the generous landowner, the one who provided for them gently, without causing a fuss, leaving grain where she could gather it. Then I discovered it was Boaz, and in our culture he was extended family. Now he has the opportunity to take us under his wing, and give us a place to belong, a place we can both call home.
A: Boaz, hearing of the connection, chose to buy them out of debt… and finally he took Ruth as his wife… Naomi’s ancient home became Ruth’s new home… a stranger in this strange land… was home…
Songs of Justice
From these original civil rights song and dreams of hope and justice and believing into a world shaped by love we ask: what dream do we still have, what dream still energises us, calls us, enfires us?
And what of God’s dream, who has been dreaming a whole lot longer than us for a rebalanced and more compassionate world?
It was in the protests of the 60s so much seemed possible, of emancipation, equality, creation rights, human rights, peace and not war, none of them any distance from God’s dreams, God’s song of creation.
But what dreams now make us the community we are today, and the community we long to become…
Perhaps for some these grow out of faith, perhaps for others they grow out of other motives or world views, but for all of us, we lack something when we forget to dream, to protest for humanity and aspire to a world better shaped, more balanced, and our relationships bound more by love than hate, justice than power, compassion than success.
For those who remember, the songs and the movement of the 60s offered a lot of space for dreams, for positive attitudes, for a freer world. We offer you now a time to reflect on the dreams we own now, perhaps they are the same now as they were then, and to invite you to come to the tables here where there are smorgasbord of images from the 60 that perhaps speak into todays dreams and hopes, and to choose an image that represents that and paste it onto the boards here: an image or symbol that represents that dream, hope, possibility.
We’ll play some music and let you come and recreate these dreams for today.
(Keep a dream in your pocket)