Ninth after Epiphany, Year B

Musical Reflection
What a Good Boy by Barenaked Ladies

Invocation

God made known
in human frailty;
your chosen one
walked through fields
where bitterness flourished
and mercy was enclosed:
break through our conspiracies
of unholy power
and teach us what it means
to save and honour life;
through Jesus Christ, God of the Sabbath.
Amen.

First Reading
Sabbath Lie
by Yehuda Amichai
translated by Glenda Abramson
On Friday, at twilight of a summer day
While the smells of food and prayer rose from every house
And the sound of the Sabbath angels’ wings was in the air,
While still a child I started to lie to my father:
“I went to another synagogue.”
I don’t know if he believed me or not
But the taste of the lie was good and sweet on my tongue
And in all the houses that night
Hymns rose up along with lies
To celebrate the Sabbath.
And in all the houses that night
Sabbath angels died like flies in a lamp,
And lovers put mouth to mouth,
Blew each other up until they floated upward,
Or burst.
And since then the lie has been good and sweet on my tongue
And since then I always go to another synagogue.
And my father returned the lie when he died:
“I’ve gone to another life.”
Second Reading
Making a Cross

by Francine Sterle
Of 385 varieties, to make the simplest
all you need are two sticks:
one vertical; the other, horizontal.
Call one time; one, space or
life—death, good—evil, male—female.
You choose. Any polarity will do
as long as the cross-piece cuts across
the one upright. Now, it’s a human form
with arms outstretched. Rub them together.
A couple of sparks, a few more,
a flash of light, a slow increase in heat,
and radiating around you: uncontainable fire.
Gospel Reading
Mark 2:23-3:6 

Jesus went through the wheat fields on the Sabbath. As the disciples made their way, they were picking the heads of wheat. The Pharisees said to Jesus, “Look! Why are they breaking the Sabbath law?”

He said to them, “Haven’t you ever read what David did when he was in need, when he and those with him were hungry? During the time when Abiathar was high priest, David went into God’s house and ate the bread of the presence, which only the priests were allowed to eat. He also gave bread to those who were with him.” Then he said, “The Sabbath was created for humans; humans weren’t created for the Sabbath. This is why the Human One is God even over the Sabbath.”

Jesus returned to the synagogue. A person with a withered hand was there. Wanting to bring charges against Jesus, they were watching Jesus closely to see if he would heal on the Sabbath. He said to the person with the withered hand, “Step up where people can see you.” Then he said to them, “Is it legal on the Sabbath to do good or to do evil, to save life or to kill?” But they said nothing. Looking around at them with anger, deeply grieved at their unyielding hearts, he said to the person, “Stretch out your hand.” So the person did, and their hand was made healthy. At that, the Pharisees got together with the supporters of Herod to plan how to destroy Jesus.

 

Musical Reflection
Necessary Evil by Unknown Mortal Orchestra
Prayer
by Kenneth Cragg, adapted

Make us, Lord,
to see and serve thy glory
in seeing
and salving
the pain of the world.
Amen.

The Lord’s Prayer

Holy One, our only Home,
hallowed be your name.
May your day dawn,
your will be done,
here, as in heaven.
Feed us today, and forgive us
as we forgive each other.
Do not forsake us at the test,
but deliver us from evil.
For the glory, the power,
and the mercy are yours,
now and forever. Amen.

Musical Reflection
Put your Hand in the Hand by Ocean

Blessing

May God’s hope be a clearing sky before us,
a compass in our hearts
guiding us to where we belong;

and the blessing of God,
the Mind, the Idea, and the Expression,
be with us and remain with us always. Amen.

Sources:

Artwork by Shilpa Gupta

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

Musical Reflection What a Good Boy by Barenaked Ladies

Poem Sabbath Lie by Yehuda Amichai

Poem Making a Cross by Francine Sterle

Musical Reflection Necessary Evil by Unknown Mortal Orchestra

Prayer by Kenneth Cragg

Lord’s Prayer from Mother Thunder Mission

Musical Reflection Put your Hand in the Hand by Ocean

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