Pentecost +15, Year B

Musical Reflection
Children of the Revolution by Violent Femmes

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Invocation

Lord of the changing,
you help us find our voice
that we might find our faith:
we praise you for the Gentile woman
who answered back
the Son of God;
release us from the crowds
which command our silence
and free our tongues
to demand from you
the healing of the earth;
through Jesus Christ, the opener of the gate.
Amen.
First Reading
A Hymn to Childhood

by Li-Young Lee

Childhood? Which childhood?
The one that didn’t last?
The one in which you learned to be afraid
of the boarded-up well in the backyard

and the ladder in the attic?

The one presided over by armed men
in ill-fitting uniforms
strolling the streets and alleys,
while loudspeakers declared a new era,
and the house around you grew bigger,
the rooms farther apart, with more and more

people missing?

The photographs whispered to each other
from their frames in the hallway.
The cooking pots said your name

each time you walked past the kitchen.

And you pretended to be dead with your sister
in games of rescue and abandonment.
You learned to lie still so long
the world seemed a play you viewed from the muffled
safety of a wing. Look! In
run the servants screaming, the soldiers shouting,
turning over the furniture,

smashing your mother’s china.

Don’t fall asleep.
Each act opens with your mother
reading a letter that makes her weep.
Each act closes with your father fallen

into the hands of Pharaoh.

Which childhood? The one that never ends? O you,
still a child, and slow to grow.
Still talking to God and thinking the snow
falling is the sound of God listening,
and winter is the high-ceilinged house
where God measures with one eye
an ocean wave in octaves and minutes,
and counts on many fingers

all the ways a child learns to say Me.

Which childhood?
The one from which you’ll never escape? You,
so slow to know
what you know and don’t know.
Still thinking you hear low song
in the wind in the eaves,
story in your breathing,
grief in the heard dove at evening,
and plentitude in the unseen bird
tolling at morning. Still slow to tell
memory from imagination, heaven
from here and now,
hell from here and now,
death from childhood, and both of them
from dreaming.
Second Reading
Mother and Child, Body and Soul
by Jean Valentine
Child

You’ve boarded me over like a window or a well.

Mother
It was autumn
I couldn’t hear the students
only the music coming in the window,
Se tu m’ami

If you love me

I went for a week’s journey in soft ermine.
Darling, the ovals of your hair …
autumn leaves,

your hair the hue of rain-drenched bark, your voice:

Don’t ever leave me …

And this child, this
window in my side,
boarded over all my life,
—how can I take the boards off, in this wind?
I will break if I bend …
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Gospel Reading
Mark 7:24-37

Jesus left that place and went into the region of Tyre. He didn’t want anyone to know that he had entered a house, but he couldn’t hide. In fact, a woman whose young daughter was possessed by an unclean spirit heard about him right away. She came and fell at his feet. The woman was Greek, Syrophoenician by birth. She begged Jesus to throw the demon out of her daughter. He responded, “The children have to be fed first. It isn’t right to take the children’s bread and toss it to the dogs.”

But she answered, “Lord, even the dogs under the table eat the children’s crumbs.”

“Good answer!” he said. “Go on home. The demon has already left your daughter.” When she returned to her house, she found the child lying on the bed and the demon gone.

After leaving the region of Tyre, Jesus went through Sidon toward the Galilee Sea through the region of the Ten Cities. Some people brought to him a man who was deaf and could hardly speak, and they begged him to place his hand on the man for healing. Jesus took him away from the crowd by himself and put his fingers in the man’s ears. Then he spit and touched the man’s tongue. Looking into heaven, Jesus sighed deeply and said,“Ephphatha,” which means, “Open up.” At once, his ears opened, his twisted tongue was released, and he began to speak clearly.

Jesus gave the people strict orders not to tell anyone. But the more he tried to silence them, the more eagerly they shared the news. People were overcome with wonder, saying, “He does everything well! He even makes the deaf to hear and gives speech to those who can’t speak.”

Musical Reflection
Lover is Childlike by the Low Anthem

v0_high
Nigerian Prayer
adapted

Creator God,
The bread is warm and fresh,
the water cold and clear.
Lord of all life, be with us.
Lord of all life, be near.
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.


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 Yolanda M Lopez

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

Musical Reflection Children of the Revolution by Violent Femmes

Poem A Hymn to Childhood by Li-Young Lee

Poem Mother and Child, Body and Soul by Jean Valentine 

Musical Reflection Lover is Childlike by the Low Anthem

Nigerian Prayer

Aramaic Lord’s Prayer by Mark Hathaway

Musical Reflection Youpi by Kid Loco

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