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  • Marissa Galvan

Proper 9: July 5, 2020



PRELUDE: Listen and sing along to "I Depend Upon Your Faithfulness" (Tu fidelidad) GtG 831.


OPENING SENTENCES (Based on Song of Songs 2: 8-13) Listen to the voice of our loving God. With a voice full of tenderness, God asks us to rise. The time to sing has come at last. Let us stand and rejoice in the presence of our loving God. HYMN: Reflect on the words of this old children's hymn "Let Us Give Thanks" using the words in English.

//Let us give thanks, to the Lord of heaven,

for the light, for the light.//

//Let us give thanks, to the Lord of heaven,

for the bread, for the bread.//

//Let us give thanks, to the Lord of heaven,

for our dads, for our dads.//

//Let us give thanks, to the Lord of heaven,

for our moms, for our moms.//

//Let us give thanks, to the Lord of heaven,

for God’s love, for God’s love.// CONFESSION (MGV) We cannot understand what is happening to us, because we don’t do what we want to do, but that which we abhor. Sin lives in us because we don’t do the good that we want to do, but the bad that we don’t want to do.

Forgive us our voluntary and involuntary sins. Forgive our rebellions. Forgive our detours and guide us again to your ways through your mercy. Free us with your love, so that we can respond with the gratitude of our service and commitment. In the name of Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen. PARDON AND PEACE (Based on Romans 7: 24-25a) “What a miserable person I am. Who will rescue me from this body that is doomed to die? Thank God! Jesus Christ will rescue me.” Hear the good news. In Jesus Christ, we are forgiven. We can live in peace. PASSING THE PEACE Take time to think about one thing during the week that has given you peace. It can be the sound of birds chirping, flowers coming out, or hearing from someone dear. Share it in some way... tell someone, post it on social media, etc. PRAYER OF ILLUMINATION (MGV) Providential God, give us your word, like water that will help us in our wilderness. Give us your word as the correct path to follow. Give us your word, as a guide for everything we do and say. In the name of Jesus, we pray. Amen. Providential God, give us your word, like water that will help us in our wilderness. Give us your word as the correct path to follow. Give us your word, as a guide for everything we do and say. In the name of Jesus, we pray. Amen.


GROWING IN GOD’S LOVE / CRECEMOS EN EL AMOR DE DIOS: Read the story "God tugs at Rebekah’s Heart".


SCRIPTURE: Genesis 24:42-46 (NRSV) 42“I came today to the spring, and said, ‘O LORD, the God of my master Abraham, if now you will only make successful the way I am going! 43I am standing here by the spring of water; let the young woman who comes out to draw, to whom I shall say, “Please give me a little water from your jar to drink,” 44and who will say to me, “Drink, and I will draw for your camels also” — let her be the woman whom the LORD has appointed for my master’s son.’ 45“Before I had finished speaking in my heart, there was Rebekah coming out with her water jar on her shoulder; and she went down to the spring, and drew. I said to her, ‘Please let me drink.’ 46She quickly let down her jar from her shoulder, and said, ‘Drink, and I will also water your camels.’ So I drank, and she also watered the camels. REFLECTION: Go the extra mile (Rev. Marissa Galván-Valle) I think I have shared this story before… but it bears repeating. The first time I went to Disney World with my family, the first ride that we got into was the Snow White ride in Fantasyland. My brothers and I were about 8 or 9 years old and it was 1976. When we finished the ride, we were scared out of our minds. The next ride was “It’s a Small World.” And after having the first experience… there was no way that we wanted to go in there.

The way I remember this is that my mother, got on the ride with one of my grandparents so that she could see what it was all about. After she got out, she loved it so much that she insisted that we get in. She managed to convince one of my brothers… so they did the line…and got in. Then she convinced another one and rode again. Then, at last, she convinced the last one of her children… and got in again. That was a total of four times listening to "It's a Small World (After All)" by the Sherman Brothers. Her actions on that day connect to a quote from “Nothing Worthwhile is Ever Easy” by Katherine Center: “Nothing that doesn’t push you past your limits can change your life. It’s true of work, it’s true of parenting, and it’s true—a hundred times over—of love.” It certainly changed my life, because it showed me that love is persistence and that going the extra mile for love is part of what love is.

As we are looking at what it means to become a family in these sermon series, I tried to approach the story of the “biblical romance” between Isaac and Rebekah in a different fashion. Here, I looked at the servant's prayer and the way Rebekah seems to be the answer to it.

Abraham sends his servant back to the land of his birth to get a wife for Isaac. The servant seems a little nervous about his chances, so when he arrives at the city of Nahor he makes all the camels kneel down by the well and starts praying. He asks for a sign:


“Let the girl to whom I shall say, ‘Please offer your jar that I may drink,’ and who shall say, ‘Drink, and I will water your camels’—let her be the one whom you have appointed for your servant Isaac. By this, I shall know that you have shown steadfast love to my master.”

The Bible says that before he had finished his prayer, Rebekah appears and does exactly what he had asked God in his prayer.

Let’s look at the prayer one more time. He wants this girl to get water for a complete stranger. And not only that. He wants the girl to also go the extra mile. He wants her to get water for his camels. And Rebekah does this without hesitation:

19 When she had finished giving him a drink, she said, “I will draw for your camels also, until they have finished drinking.” 20 So she quickly emptied her jar into the trough and ran again to the well to draw, and she drew for all his camels.

She does this for ten camels. Ten. Not one. TEN. The servant’s prayer could have been something else. Rebekah could have done something else. But what caught my attention this time around was the extra step. Not only water for this man that had traveled such a long time but a recognition that he is not alone and that these animals needed water as well. After that, she offers shelter and food for the camels. Remember that she does not know about the servant's prayer. Her actions are a reflection of hospitality… and at the same time, they reflect God’s providence that fulfills God’s promises and that shows that God always has a plan. God always walks the extra mile. In this we find hope… but we also find our challenge as God’s children.

“Nothing that doesn’t push you past your limits can change your life. It’s true of work, it’s true of parenting, and it’s true—a hundred times over—of love.”

Sometimes that extra mile requires water, not just for a strange, but for his ten camels. Sometimes that extra mile leads to getting on a Disney ride four times so that your children can experience it. Sometimes that extra mile means that you try to empathize with a person you don’t know much about so that you can understand their sorrow, their pain, and their struggles. Sometimes that extra mile calls you to forgo your own freedom in favor of what is beneficial for others around you. For a Christian, for a true Christian, that extra mile is not about individual success or individual freedom, or individual effort. God did not have to answer the servant’s prayer… yet God fulfilled God’s promise to Abraham. God did not have to forgive, yet God forgave… endlessly. God did not have to suffer… yet God gave God’s only son to save us from our sins. I believe in a persistent God. I believe in a suffering God. I believe in a God that makes an effort… and that has always, always, gone the extra mile, not for themselves… but for us. And in doing so, God changed my life… and God changes your life.

Our prayer for today comes from the hymn that we are going to sing after the sermon:

“God of our weary years, God of our silent tears, thou who hast brought us thus far on the way; thou who hast by thy might led us into the light, keep us forever in the path, we pray.”

Keep us forever in the path of going the extra mile for those who suffer. Keep us forever in the path of going the extra mile for those who do not enjoy the full freedom that this land offers. Keep us forever in the path of going the extra mile so that we can serve others holistically until they can get on their feet and until they feel that God’s promise has been fulfilled in their lives. May God help us to be true. Amen. HYMN: Listen and sing to "Faith is Patience in the Night STF #2211 (Initially a poem for a school assembly at which Booker T. Washington spoke on Lincoln’s birthday in 1900, this text and tune have gained national recognition and devotion, not only within the African American community but also among all who seek liberation from oppression. TEXT: James Weldon Johnson, 1900 )

PRAYER OF INTERCESSION: Take time to think about prayer requests, and pray for them. Pray for the situations in your home, your community, your city, your country of origin, other countries in the world that face difficult situations, and the country where you live. HYMN: Listen and sing to "I'm Gonna Live So God Can Use Me GtG 700

BLESSING May the road God has laid Rise up to meet you. May God keep you and bless you, Shine God’s light upon you, and give you peace.

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