Easter Six, Year B

Musical Reflection
I Prefer Your Love by St Vincent

174

Invocation

God of abiding love,
you choose us as your servants
and dare to call us friends:
take our fragmented hearts,
commanding them to love,
making whole our joy,
our life reborn in you;
through Jesus Christ, who laid down his life for us.
Amen.
First Reading
Each from Different Heights
by Stephen Dunn
That time I thought I was in love
and calmly said so
was not much different from the time
I was truly in love
and slept poorly and spoke out loud
to the wall
and discovered the hidden genius
of my hands.
And the times I felt less in love,
less than someone,
were, to be honest, not so different
either.
Each was ridiculous in its own way
and each was tender, yes,
sometimes even the false is tender.
I am astounded
by the various kisses we’re capable of.
Each from different heights
diminished, which is simply the law.
And the big bruise
from the longer fall looked perfectly white
in a few years.
That astounded me most of all.

Second Reading
Those Winter Sundays
by Robert Hayden
Sundays too my father got up early
and put his clothes on in the blueblack cold,
then with cracked hands that ached
from labor in the weekday weather made

banked fires blaze. No one ever thanked him.

I’d wake and hear the cold splintering, breaking.
When the rooms were warm, he’d call,
and slowly I would rise and dress,

fearing the chronic angers of that house,

Speaking indifferently to him,
who had driven out the cold
and polished my good shoes as well.
What did I know, what did I know
of love’s austere and lonely offices?

176

Gospel Reading
John 15:9-17

As my Abba has loved me, I too have loved you. Remain in my love. If you keep my commandments, you will remain in my love, just as I kept God’s commandments and remain in God’s love. I have said these things to you so that my joy will be in you and your joy will be complete. This is my commandment: love each other just as I have loved you. No one has greater love than to give up one’s life for one’s friends. You are my friends if you do what I command you. I don’t call you servants any longer, because servants don’t know what their master is doing. Instead, I call you friends, because everything I heard from Abba God I have made known to you. You didn’t choose me, but I chose you and appointed you so that you could go and produce fruit and so that your fruit could last. As a result, whatever you ask of Abba God in my name, God will give you. This command I give you: that you love one another.

 

Musical Reflection
Crazy Love by Van Morrison

177

Prayer for True Love
by Rev. Laurie Sue Brockway, adapted

Dear God, Loving Essence of all there is,
please fill us with your sacred presence.

We ask for your love and guidance.
We ask for your blessings
as we explore the deep reaches of our hearts.
We ask for your assistance
in releasing that which stands in the way of true love.

May we be embraced in a circle of your love
and uplifted by your grace.
And so it is.
Amen.

The Lord’s Prayer

Our Father/Mother/Parent,
who is in us here on earth,
holy is your name in the hungry who share their bread and their song.
Your Kindom come,
which is a generous land which flows with milk and honey.
Let us do your will,
standing up when all are sitting down,
and raising our voice when all are silent.
You are giving us our daily bread in the song of the bird and the miracle of the corn.
Forgive us for keeping silent in the face of injustice,
and for burying our dreams, for not sharing bread and wine, love and land, among us, now.
Don’t let us fall into the temptation of shutting the door through fear;
of resigning ourselves to hunger and injustice;
of taking up the same arms as the enemy.
But deliver us from evil.
Give us the perseverance and the solidarity to look for love,
even if the path has not yet been trodden,
even if we fail;
so we shall have known your Kindom which is being built forever and ever.
Amen.

Musical Reflection
Same Love by Angel Haze feat. Mary Lambert (explicit lyrics)


Blessing

May the cross be the sign
in which we begin again
to undo the cords of violence,
the misery of exclusion,
and proclaim the love
without conditions;

and the blessing of God,
the Rock, the Redeemer, and the Friend,
be with us and remain with us always. Amen.

178

Sources:

Artwork by Cy Twombly

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

Musical Reflection I Prefer Your Love by St Vincent

Poem Each from Different Heights by Steven Dunn

Poem Those Winter Sundays by Robert Hayden

Musical Reflection Crazy Love by Van Morrison

Prayer by Rev Laurie Sue Brockway

Lord’s Prayer Latin American Paraphrase

Musical Reflection Same Love by Angel Haze feat. Mary Lambert

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