Lent Five, Year B

Musical Reflection
Our World by My Morning Jacket

391

Invocation

God of the new covenant,
in Christ you draw
all people to yourself:
may we die with Christ
to the powers of hate
and be shown
a world loved by you,
through Jesus Christ, Mary’s Child, the fruitful grain.
Amen.
First Reading
Sacrament
by Alden Nowlan

God, I have sought you as a fox seeks chickens,
curbing my hunger with cunning.
The times I have tasted your flesh
there was no bread and wine between us,
only night and the wind beating the grass.

Second Reading
The Avatar
by Kerry Hardie

Listen, this is the trinity, he said, tramping the wet road
in the thin well-being of winter morning:
‘God the curlew, God the eider,
God the cheese-on-toast.’
To his right a huddle of small blue mountains
squatted together discussing the recent storm.
To his left the sea washed.

I thought it was whimsical, what he said,
I condemned it as fey.
Then I saw that he meant it; that, unlike me,
he had no quarrel
with himself, could see his own glory
was young enough for faith still in flesh and in being.
He was not attracted by awe

or a high cold cleanness
but imagined a god as intimate
as the trickles of blood and juice that coursed about inside him,
a god he could eat or warm his hands on,
a low god for winter:
belly-weighted, with the unmistakable call
of the bog curlew or the sea-going eider.

421

Gospel Reading
John 12:20-36

Some Greek people were among those who had come up to worship at the Passover festival. They approached Philip, who was from Bethsaida in Galilee, and made a request: “Please, we want to see Jesus.” Philip told Andrew, and together they told Jesus.

Jesus replied,
“The time has come for the Chosen One to be glorified.
I assure you that unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it can only be a single seed. But if it dies, it bears much fruit. Those who love their lives will lose them, and those who hate their lives in this world will keep them forever. Whoever works for me me must follow in my footsteps. Wherever I am, there my worker will also be. Abba God will honour whoever serves me.

“Now I am deeply troubled. What should I say? ‘Abba, save me from this time’? No, for this is the reason I have come to this time. Abba, glorify your name!”

Then a voice came from heaven, “I have glorified it, and I will glorify it again.”

The crowd standing there heard and said, “It’s thunder.” Others said, “It was an angel speaking.”

Jesus replied, “This voice wasn’t for my benefit but for yours. Now is the time for judgment of this world. Now this world’s ruler will be thrown out. When I am lifted up from the earth, I will draw everyone to me.” (He said this to show how he was going to die.)

The crowd responded, “We have heard from the Law that the Christ remains forever. How can you say that the Chosen One must be lifted up? Who is this Chosen One?”

Jesus replied,
“The light is with you for only a little while. Walk while you have the light so that darkness doesn’t overtake you. Those who walk in the darkness don’t know where they are going.
As long as you have the light, believe in the light so that you might become people whose lives are determined by the light.”

After Jesus said these things, he went away and hid from them.

 Musical Reflection
Hide and Seek by Imogen Heap

400
Prayer for Empowerment
by Ted Loder
God,
empower me
to be a bold participant,
rather than a timid saint in waiting,
in the difficult ordinariness of now;
to exercise the authority of honesty,
rather than to defer to power,
or deceive to get it;
to influence someone for justice,
rather than impress anyone for gain;
and, by grace, to find treasures
of joy, of friendship, of peace
hidden in the fields of the daily
you give me to plow.
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
The Lines of My Earth by Sixpence None the Richer


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.

410

Sources:

Artwork by Oliver Marsden

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

Musical Reflection Our World by My Morning Jacket

Poem Sacrament by Alden Nowlan

Poem The Avatar by Kerry Hardie

Musical Reflection Hide and Seek by Imogen Heap

Prayer by Ted Loder

Lord’s Prayer by Parker J Palmer

Musical Reflection The Lines of My Earth by Sixpence None the Richer

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