Sunday Worship | Lessons Learned from Jesus and Buddha

“When we meet real tragedy in life, we can react in two ways—either by losing hope and falling into self-destructive habits, or by using the challenge to find our inner strength.”
The Dalai Lama XIV

Written by Rodger Courtney, 2013

On this beautiful harvest day, we celebrate the wonder and joy of creation
A beauty that brings sustenance, hope and healing to the human soul.
We recognize that we are not masters of creation but co-creators
Helping the beauty and glory of the world to unfold.
Without beauty our lives become arid and lifeless.
In each of us there is a spirit of imagination and creativity,
A resonant voice through which we can express who we really are
And experience the radiant joy of the natural beauty that surrounds us
We share in the rhythm of nature and the continuous wonder of creation.
And in this way we have the privilege of becoming co-creators of the universe.

OPENING HYMN Holy Spirit, Dwelling Inside

CHRISTIAN READING Matthew 10:26-33

So have no fear of them, for nothing is covered that will not be revealed, or hidden that will not be known. What I tell you in the dark, say in the light, and what you hear whispered, proclaim on the housetops. And do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather fear him who can destroy both soul and body in hell.

Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? And not one of them will fall to the ground apart from your Father. But even the hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear not, therefore; you are of more value than many sparrows. So everyone who acknowledges me before men, I also will acknowledge before my Father who is in heaven, but whoever denies me before men, I also will deny before my Father who is in heaven.

ANOTHER VOICE Marcus Borg, Jesus and Buddha: The Parallel Sayings

The great Buddhist scholar Edward Conze once remarked that “When we compare the attributes of the Godhead as they are understood by the more mystical tradition of Christian thought with those of Nirvana, we find no difference at all.” Both Jesus and Buddha saw themselves as spiritual guides pointing the way to this “Godhead” and to a future that was free from earthly constraints.

Each one taught that though he would die, his words would remain, helping us guide his followers until the time of what Jesus called “the renewal of all things” and Buddha referred to as “a time when this world contracts.” In fact, both of them saw their worldly mission as being incomplete until they had prepared others to recognize and prepare for the future.

THEME VIDEO Jesus & Buddha: Practicing Across Traditions

“Think Global, Act Local:
Lessons Learned from Jesus and Buddha”
Rev. Don Ludwig

To read the sermon text, click here.

GUIDED MEDITATION & PRAYER | Sayings from The Dalai Lama XIV

“Don’t let the behavior of others destroy your inner peace.”

“Compassion is the Radicalism of our time.”

“Many of our problems stem from attitudes like putting ourselves first at all cost.”

“There are only two days in the year that nothing can be done. One is called Yesterday and the other is called Tomorrow. Today is the right day to Love, Believe, Do and mostly Live.”

“Choose to be optimistic, it feels better.”

CORPORATE PRAYER | Written by Francis Macnab

Good caring presence within us, around us, and above us; Hold us in a sense of mystery and wonder. May we find we have all we need to meet each day without undue anxiety. Overlook our many stupidities, and help us to release everyone from their stupidities. Strengthen us that we will reach out to the best, always with the faith to rise above the ugly realities of our existence. And we celebrate the gifts you have given us – the rich kingdom of life’s possibilities, the power to do good. You are life’s richness. You are life’s power. You are life’s ultimate meaning. Amen.

RESPONSIVE HYMN | “Amazing Grace” sung by Susan Magdalane Boyle

Minute for Mission, Offering and Announcements:

As we reflect on all of our blessings, individually and as a community, may we consider how we may give of ourselves so that the work of Christ’s love and peace may continue throughout our world.

(Please contact Amanda at to discover simple ways you may give electronically or via mail. Thank you for supporting the staff and on-going ministries of Southminster Presbyterian Church).


Through all our living, we our fruits must give.
Good works of service are for offering.
When we are giving, or when receiving,
We belong to God.
We belong to God.
We belong to God.
We belong to God.

FINAL BLESSING & BENEDICTION “Shalom My Friends” by Tarris Rosell