This Week’s Message, from Rev. Kaji Douša

July 21st,2022 Categories: Weekly Letter

It always strikes me how fragile Israel’s leadership was. The people consistently fell away from God’s values and…they struggled.

This cycle is eerily familiar to us, as well. Join us as we take a look at what it means to follow flawed leadership while staying focused on God’s plans for our redemption, vindication and restoration.

Maybe it is that the emperor has never had clothes because empire never should have been. Join us as we explore this for our times!

Pax Christi,
Pastor Kaji

Scripture: 1 Samuel 8:1, 4-18:

1 Now it was that when Samuel was old that he made his sons judges over Israel.
4 Then all the elders of Israel gathered themselves together and came to Samuel at Ramah. 5 They said to him, “Look here! You—you are old, and your sons do not walk in your ways; now then, set up for us a ruler to judge us, like all the heathen nations.” 6 But the thing was evil in Samuel’s sight when they said, “Give us a ruler to judge us.” Then Samuel prayed to the HOLY ONE OF OLD.
7 And the HOLY ONE said to Samuel, “Hearken to the voice of the people in all that they say to you; for it is not you they have rejected, but it is me they have rejected from ruling over them. 8 Like everything else they have done to me, from the day I brought them up out of Egypt to this very day, forsaking me and serving other gods; they are doing the same to you. 9 Now then, hearken to their voice; but—you shall testify against them, and show them the judgment of the ruler who shall rule over them.”
10 So Samuel relayed all the words of the HOLY ONE to the people who were asking him for a ruler. 11 Samuel said, “This will be the judgment of the ruler who will rule over you all: your sons he will take and set them aside for himself in his chariots and in his cavalry, and to run before his chariots. 12 And he will set aside for himself commanders of thousands and commanders of fifties, and some to plow his plowing and to reap his reaping, and to make his furnishings of war and the furnishings of his chariots. 13 Your daughters he will take to be apothecaries and cooks and bakers. 14 He will take the best of your fields and vineyards and olive orchards; he will take and give to those who serve him. 15 One-tenth of your grain and of your vineyards he will take and give to his eunuchs and those he enslaves. 16 Your male slaves and your female slaves, and the best of your cattle and donkeys, he will take and put them to his work. 17 Your flocks he will tithe . . . and you all, you shall be his slaves. 18 And you all will cry out on that day in the face of your sovereign, whom you have chosen for yourselves; and GOD WHOSE NAME IS HOLY will not answer you all on that day.”


Wait for Each Other

Mary Luti

“When you come together in one place, it is not to eat the Lord’s supper, for each of you goes ahead with your own supper. Thus some go hungry while others gets drunk. Why do you make those who have nothing feel ashamed? My siblings, no: when you come together to eat, wait for each other.”—1 Corinthians 11:20, 22, 33

Waiting to eat until everyone is seated is simply polite. But Paul isn’t talking about etiquette here. He’s warning us not to desecrate the Lord’s Supper, pointing out the difference between that supper and our own, Christ’s table and the world’s.

At the world’s table, no one waits for anyone. It’s a demented scramble to be first, shoving others aside, stepping over the bodies. Be first and you get prime cuts and excellent wine. Limp in later, you get gristle and dregs. At the world’s table, the wealthy, the privileged, and the strong devour everyone else’s share of the feast of life. But at Jesus’ table, mutual deference is the sacrament’s sign every bit as much as bread and wine.

We eat the Lord’s Supper truly not when we’re morally pure or doctrinally sound, but when we’re giving no advantage to the privileged. When in deeds personal and political we refuse to shame the poor. When our own wellbeing is inseparable from others’. When we set welcome tables in the streets of our grasping, unequal world as intentionally as we set Communion tables in our sanctuaries.

It’s the Lord’s Supper truly when we wait for each other. When we wait and work and witness until everyone arrives, everyone is welcomed, everyone is seated, served, and fed.

Who’s Seated at the Table?

Who’s seated at the table,
who has a waiting place?
Who’s always warmly welcome 
in Love’s most kind embrace?
Who finds a dear belonging,
who’s home, who’s home at last? 
Who’s treasured here and honored,
no questions ever asked?

And who is Jesus missing?
Whose absence deeply pains?
For whom is Love still pining,
what searching work remains?
What work of peace and pardon,
what justice to increase?
What beauty to discover,
what singing joy release?

The feast of great thanksgiving,
the song, the memory.
The bread, the wine, the story,
Christ’s precious company.
The table set in mercy,
no bar, no lock, no gate.
Who’s seated at the table?
All earth and heaven wait.