Advent Two, Year B

Musical Reflection
The Beekeeper by Dessa

800px-Jan_van_Kessel_001

Invocation

Wild God of the wastes,
whose gospel begins
with a cry and a summons:
take us to a pathless place
where we can start again
to taste creation’s gifts anew
and await the Spirit’s touch;
through Jesus Christ, the one who is to come.
Amen.
First Reading
The Honey Bear

by Eileen Myles
Billie Holiday was on the radio
I was standing in the kitchen
smoking my cigarette of this
pack I plan to finish tonight
last night of smoking youth.
I made a cup of this funny
kind of tea I’ve had hanging
around. A little too sweet
an odd mix. My only impulse
was to make it sweeter.
Ivy Anderson was singing
pretty late tonight
in my very bright kitchen.
I’m standing by the tub
feeling a little older
nearly thirty in my very
bright kitchen tonight.
I’m not a bad looking woman
I suppose     O it’s very quiet
in my kitchen tonight        I’m squeezing
this plastic honey bear      a noodle
of honey dripping into the odd sweet
tea. It’s pretty late
Honey bear’s cover was loose
and somehow honey      dripping down
the bear’s face   catching
in the crevices beneath
the bear’s eyes    O very sad and sweet
I’m standing in my kitchen     O honey
I’m staring at the honey bear’s face.
Second Reading
Living at the End of Time

by Robert Bly
There is so much sweetness in children’s voices,
And so much discontent at the end of day,
And so much satisfaction when a train goes by.
I don’t know why the rooster keeps crying,
Nor why elephants keep raising their trunks,
Nor why Hawthorne kept hearing trains at night.
A handsome child is a gift from God,
And a friend is a vein in the back of the hand,
And a wound is an inheritance from the wind.
Some say we are living at the end of time,
But I believe a thousand pagan ministers
Will arrive tomorrow to baptize the wind.
There’s nothing we need to do about John. The Baptist
Has been laying his hands on earth for so long
That the well water is sweet for a hundred miles.
It’s all right if we don’t know what the rooster
Is saying in the middle of the night, nor why we feel
So much satisfaction when a train goes by.
vankessel
Gospel Reading
Mark 1:1-8

The beginning of the good news about Jesus Christ, God’s Child, happened just as it was written about in the prophecy of Isaiah:

Look, I am sending my messenger before you –
Who will prepare your way,

 a voice shouting in the wilderness:
        Prepare the way for the Lord;
        make the paths straight.”

 

John the Baptist was in the wilderness calling for people to be baptized to show that they were changing their hearts and lives and wanted God to forgive their sins. Everyone in Judea and all the people of Jerusalem went out to the Jordan River and were being baptized by John as they confessed their sins. John wore clothes made of camel’s hair, with a leather belt around his waist. He ate locusts and wild honey. He announced, “One stronger than I am is coming after me, whose sandal straps I am not even worthy to bend over and loosen. I baptize you with water, but the One to come will baptize you with the Holy Spirit.”

 

Musical Reflection
John Saw That Number by Neko Case

800px-Jan_van_Kessel_002

Prayer
by Sister Joan Chittister

Creator God,
May our journey
through the universal questions of life
bring us to a new moment of awareness.
May it be an enlightening one.
May we find embedded in the past,
like all the students of life before us,
the answers we are seeking now.
May they awaken that in us which is
deeper than fact,
truer than fiction,
full of faith.
May we come to know
that in every human event
is a particle of the Divine
to which we turn for meaning here,
to which we tend for fullness of life hereafter.
Amen.


The Lord’s Prayer

Eternal Spirit,
Earth-maker, Pain-bearer, Life-giver,
Source of all that is and that shall be,
Father and Mother, Parent of us all,
Loving God, in whom is heaven:
The hallowing of your name echo through the universe!
The way of your justice be followed by the peoples of the world!
Your heavenly will be done by all created beings!
Your commonwealth of peace and freedom
sustain our hope and come on earth.
With the bread we need for today, feed us.
In the hurts we absorb from one another, forgive us.
In times of temptation and testing, strengthen us.
From trials too great to endure, spare us.
From the grip of all that is evil, free us.
For you reign in the glory of the power that is love,
now and for ever. Amen.

 

Musical Reflection
Out the Wilderness by The Be Good Tanyas

 

Blessing

May the God who brings heaven close to earth
give truth to our judgement
and flame to our longing
that our hearts might be ready
to be born again in love;

and the blessing of God Almighty,
the Holy Parent, the Holy Child, and the Holy Spirit,
be with us and remain with us always. Amen.

jvankessel6

Sources:

Artwork by Jan van Kessel the Elder

Invocation and Blessing from Prayers for an Inclusive Church by Steven Shakespeare

Musical Reflection Beekeeper by Dessa

Poem The Honey Bear by Eileen Myles

Poem Living at the End of Time by Robert Bly

Musical Reflection John Saw That Number by Neko Case

Prayer by Sister Joan Chittister

Lord’s Prayer from the New Zealand Prayer Book

Musical Reflection Out of the Wilderness by The Be Good Tanyas

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