Pentecost +14, Year B

Musical Reflection
Don’t Drink Poison by Le Tigre



God of unclean hands,
touching those
rejected by the world,
despised by the religious:
guide us from false purity
which hides misshapen hearts;
lead us to the joyful feast
in which all are renewed;
through Jesus Christ, the beauty of God’s face.
First Reading
Beyond Galilee

by Jabra Ibrahim Jabra
translated by John Mikhail Asfour

When I lived with Christ,
died with him and was resurrected
my voice was still shouting in the wilderness,
a voice unlike my own
burning with an unfamiliar fire.
Whose fire?
Give me shade and cold water,
and I will hang my memories on
a wall in some deserted room.
The crowd has scattered and the guests are gone;
the voice shouts in vain
like the voice of all that came before
death and Galilee.
On my lips are traces of honey
and hemlock.
Have I come to death to hear my voice
pull me toward a long-deserted void?
Give me shade! And you, woman,
put a chunk of ice in your water.
The sun is burning. Life after death
is tiresome. And still my voice is drawn by the fire.
For whom? For whom
have I closed my eyes, while on my lips were
those traces of honey and of hemlock?

Second Reading
Lunar Shatters
by Melissa Broder
I came into the world a young man
Then I broke me off
Still the sea and clouds are Pegasus colors
My heart is Pegasus colors but to get there I must go back
Back to the time before I was a woman
Before I broke me off to make a flattened lap
And placed thereon a young man
Where I myself could have dangled
And how I begged him enter there
My broken young man parts
And how I let the mystery collapse
With rugged young man puncture
And how I begged him turn me Pegasus colors
And please to put a sunset there
And gone forever was my feeling snake
And in its place dark letters
And me the softest of all
And me so skinless I could no longer be naked
And me I had to de-banshee
And me I dressed myself
I made a poison suit
I darned it out of myths
Some of the myths were beautiful
Some turned ugly in the making
The myth of the slender girl
The myth of the fat one
The myth of rescue
The myth of young men
The myth of the hair in their eyes
The myth of how beauty would save them
The myth of me and who I must become
The myth of what I am not
And the horses who are no myth
How they do not need to turn Pegasus
They are winged in their un-myth
They holy up the ground
I must holy up the ground
I sanctify the ground and say fuck it
I say fuck it in a way that does not invite death
I say fuck it and fall down no new holes
And I ride an unwinged horse
And I unbecome myself
And I strip my poison suit
And wear my crown of fuck its
Gospel Reading
Mark 7:1-23

The Pharisees and some legal experts from Jerusalem gathered around Jesus. They saw some of his disciples eating food with unclean hands. (They were eating without first ritually purifying their hands through washing. The Pharisees and all the Jewish people don’t eat without first washing their hands carefully. This is a way of observing the rules handed down by the elders. Upon returning from the marketplace, they don’t eat without first immersing themselves. They observe many other rules that have been handed down, such as the washing of cups, jugs, pans, and sleeping mats.) So the Pharisees and legal experts asked Jesus, “Why are your disciples not living according to the rules handed down by the elders but instead eat food with ritually unclean hands?”

He replied, “Isaiah really knew what he was talking about when he prophesied about you hypocrites. He wrote,

This people honors me with their lips,
    but their hearts are far away from me.
Their worship of me is empty
    since they teach instructions that are human words.

You ignore God’s commandment while holding on to rules created by humans and handed down to you.” Jesus continued, “Clearly, you are experts at rejecting God’s commandment in order to establish these rules. Moses said, Honor your parents, and The person who speaks against their parent will certainly be put to deathBut you say, ‘If you tell your parent, “Everything I’m expected to contribute to you is corban (that is, a gift I’m giving to God),” then you are no longer required to care for your parents.’ In this way you do away with God’s word in favor of the rules handed down to you, which you pass on to others. And you do a lot of other things just like that.”

Then Jesus called the crowd again and said, “Listen to me, all of you, and understand. Nothing outside of a person can enter and contaminate a person in God’s sight; rather, the things that come out of a person contaminate the person.”

After leaving the crowd, he entered a house where his disciples asked him about that riddle. He said to them, “Don’t you understand either? Don’t you know that nothing from the outside that enters a person has the power to contaminate? That’s because it doesn’t enter into the heart but into the stomach, and it goes out into the sewer.” By saying this, Jesus declared that no food could contaminate a person in God’s sight. “It’s what comes out of a person that contaminates someone in God’s sight,” he said. “It’s from the inside, from the human heart, that evil thoughts come: sexual sins, thefts, murders, adultery, greed, evil actions, deceit, unrestrained immorality, envy, insults, arrogance, and foolishness. All these evil things come from the inside and contaminate a person in God’s sight.”

Samburu Prayer 
Samburu, Kenya, adapted

May God raise us up above everything.
Spread out like the water of a lake
Be abundance that never ends,
That never changes.
Be like a mountain,
Be like a camel,
Be like a cloud – a cloud that brings rain always.


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
Inside and Out by Feist


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.



Artwork by Andrei Rublev

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

Musical Reflection Don’t Drink Poison by Le Tigre

Poem Beyond Galilee by Jabra Ibrahim Jabra 

Poem Lunar Shatters by Melissa Broder

Musical Reflection Clean by Adaline

Samburu Prayer

Aramaic Lord’s Prayer by Mark Hathaway

Musical Reflection Inside and Out by Feist

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