Pentecost +12, Year B

Musical Reflection
Sick Priest Learns to Last Forever by Destroyer

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Invocation

Divine love,
undaunted by death and fear,
who went to the depths
to bring back life:
in the power of the cross
shape a people of service,
breaking bread
for a hungering world;
through Jesus Christ, the true food.
Amen.
First Reading
The Rolling Saint

by Aimee Nezhukumatathil

Lotan Baba, a holy man from India, rolled on his side for
four thousand kilometers across the country in his quest for
world peace and eternal salvation.
Reuters

He started small: fasting here and there,
days, then weeks. Once, he stood under
a banyan tree for a full seven years, sitting
            for nothing—not even to sleep. It came
            to him in a dream: You must roll
            on this earth, spin your heart in rain,
                        desert, dust. At sunrise he’d stretch, swab
                        any cuts from the day before, and lay prone
                        on the road while his twelve men swept
            the ground in front of him with sisal brooms.
            Even monkeys stopped and stared at this man
            rolling through puddles, past storefronts
where children would throw him pieces
of butter candy he’d try and catch
in his mouth at each rotation. His men
            swept and sang, swept and sang
            of jasmine-throated angels
            and pineapple slices in kulfi cream.
                        He rolled and rolled. Sometimes
                        in his dizzying spins, he thought
                        he heard God. A whisper, but still.
Second Reading
Forever – is composed of Nows –
by Emily Dickinson
Forever – is composed of Nows –
‘Tis not a different time –
Except for Infiniteness –
And Latitude of Home –
From this – experienced Here –
Remove the Dates – to These –
Let Months dissolve in further Months –
And Years – exhale in Years –
Without Debate – or Pause –
Or Celebrated Days –
No different Our Years would be
From Anno Dominies –
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Gospel Reading
John 6:51-58

“I am the living bread that came down from heaven. Whoever eats this bread will live forever, and the bread that I will give for the life of the world is my flesh.”

Then the Jewish people debated among themselves, asking, “How can this man give us his flesh to eat?”

Jesus said to them, “I assure you, unless you eat the flesh of the Human One and drink his blood, you have no life in you. Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise them up at the last day. My flesh is true food and my blood is true drink. Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood remains in me and I in them. As the living God sent me, and I live because of the loving God, so whoever eats me lives because of me. This is the bread that came down from heaven. It isn’t like the bread your ancestors ate, and then they died. Whoever eats this bread will live forever.”

Musical Reflection
The Times They Are A Changin’ by Bob Dylan

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Prayer 
by Winifred Holtby
God give me work
Till my life shall end
And life
Till my work is done.
Amen.

The Lord’s Prayer

O Source of the Wave, which envelops and embraces the cosmos,
sustaining and renewing it at each moment,
Penetrate the deepest recesses of our hearts,
and there create a space for thy holy shrine.
In this nuptial chamber,
conceive the creative potency of thy Reign,
So that we may give birth to the embodiment of thy desire:
As from the emanation, so too in form.
With passion and soul let us generate that which is needed to sustain life this day. Release us from the bondage of our karma,
as we free others from the captivity of their guilt.
And do not let superficiality cause us to vacillate,
but rather free us from all that impedes growth.
For from thee bursts forth all that
dignifies, gives life, and astonishes,
from cycle to cycle, restoring wholeness. Ameyn.

Musical Reflection
Eternal Flame by the Bangles


Blessing

May the living God
remove the suffocating shroud
that lies upon our world;
may the risen Saviour
draw the sting of death,
bringing all to life in God;
may the flowing Spirit
set us and all creation free
and seal our hearts with faith;

and the blessing of God,
the Fire That Consumes, the Sword That Divides, and the Storm That Melts Mountains, be with us and remain with us always. Amen.

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Sources:

Artwork by Jim Darling

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

Musical Reflection Sick Priest Learns to Last Forever by Destroyer

Poem The Rolling Saint by Aimee Nezhukumatathil 

Poem Forever – is composed of Nows – by Emily Dickinson

Musical Reflection The Times They Are A Changin’ by Bob Dylan

Prayer by Winifred Holtby

Aramaic Lord’s Prayer by Mark Hathaway

Musical Reflection Eternal Flame by The Bangles

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