Lent Three, Year B

Musical Reflection
If I had a Rocket Launcher by Bruce Cockburn

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Invocation

Lord of the overturning,
your passion sweeps away
the calculating religion,
the pious profiteering
which keeps us safely outside the holy places:
may we find our way through the debris
of all that protected us
to find your dangerous heart
and our world upside down;
through Jesus Christ, our exiled Lord.
Amen.
First Reading
[Dear Angry Mob]
by Joshua Beckman
Oak Wood Trail is closed to you. We
feel it unnecessary to defend our position,
for we have always thought of ourselves
(and rightly, I venture) as a haven for
those seeking a quiet and solitary
contemplation. We are truly sorry
for the inconvenience.

Signed,

                                 Ranger Lil
PS            Ofttimes as the day ends
                      on a wet bed of yellow leaves
                            or the sky densens gray and dark
                 I am brought to imagine
                      the growing disquiet
                             in the hearts of my countrymen
Second Reading
Greed
by Philip Schultz
My ocean town struggles
to pick up leaves,
offer summer school,
and keep our library open.
Every day now
more men stand
at the railroad station,
waiting to be chosen for work.
Because it’s thought
the Hispanics will work for less
they get picked first,
while the whites and blacks
avoid the terror
in one another’s eyes.
Our handyman, Santos,
who expects only
what his hands earn,
is proud of   his half acre in Guatemala,
where he plans to retire.
His desire to proceed with dignity
is admirable, but he knows
that now no one retires,
everyone works harder.
My father imagined a life
more satisfying than the one
he managed to lead.
He didn’t see himself as uneducated,
thwarted, or bitter,
but soon-to-be rich.
Being rich was his right, he believed.
Happiness, I used to think,
was a necessary illusion.
Now I think it’s just
precious moments of relief,
like dreams of Guatemala.
Sometimes, at night,
in winter, surrounded by
the significant silence
of empty mansions,
which once were cottages,
where people lived their lives,
and now are owned by banks
and the absent rich,
I like to stand at my window,
looking for a tv’s futile flickering,
always surprised to see
instead
the quaint, porous face
of my reflection,
immersed
in its one abundance.
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Gospel Reading
John 2:13-22

It was nearly time for the Jewish Passover, and Jesus went up to Jerusalem. He found in the temple those who were selling cattle, sheep, and doves, as well as those involved in exchanging currency sitting there. He made a whip from ropes and chased them all out of the temple, including the cattle and the sheep. He scattered the coins and overturned the tables of those who exchanged currency. He said to the dove sellers, “Get these things out of here! Don’t make God’s house a place of business.” His disciples remembered that it is written, Passion for your house consumes me.

Then the Jewish leaders asked him, “By what authority are you doing these things? What miraculous sign will you show us?”

Jesus answered, “Destroy this temple and in three days I’ll raise it up.”

The Jewish leaders replied, “It took forty-six years to build this temple, and you will raise it up in three days?” But the temple Jesus was talking about was his body. After he was raised from the dead, his disciples remembered what he had said, and they believed the scripture and the word that Jesus had spoken.

Musical Reflection
The World Turned Upside Down by Billy Bragg
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Prayer
Abbess Gertrude More, adapted

We are grateful, O God, for your grace of prayer;
whereby we have our conversation in heaven;
whereby all impediments are removed,
so that nothing can separate us from your goodness,
for time and for eternity.
Amen.

The Lord’s Prayer

Heavenly Father, heavenly Mother,
heavenly Parent,
Holy and blessed is your true name.
We pray for your reign of peace to come,
We pray that your good will be done,
Let heaven and earth become one.
Give us this day the bread we need,
Give it to those who have none.
Let forgiveness flow like a river between us,
From each one to each one.
Lead us to holy innocence
Beyond the evil of our days —
Come swiftly Mother, Father, Parent, come.
For yours is the power and the glory and the mercy:
Forever your name is All in One.
Amen.

Musical Reflection
Talkin’ Bout a Revolution by Tracy Chapman

Blessing

May the crucified Christ
shatter our brittle fear,
draw all people to God’s glory,
and make us servants
living for the world;

and the blessing of God,
the One Who Was, the One Who Is and the One Who Is to Come, be with us and remain with us always. Amen.

Three Minutes to Nirvana

Sources:

Artwork by Eugenia Loli

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

Musical Reflection If I Had a Rockey Launcher by Bruce Cockburn

Poem [Dear Angry Mob] by Joshua Beckman

Poem Greed by Philip Schultz

Musical Reflection The World Turned Upside Down by Billy Bragg

Prayer by Abbess Gertrude More

Lord’s Prayer by Parker J Palmer

Musical Reflection Talking Bout a Revolution by Tracy Chapman

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