Advent Three, Year C

 

Musical Reflection
Waiting for Baby by Julie Doiron

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Invocation

God of flood and fire,
calling us to turn
from dead halls
echoing with greed:
may the gift of your Spirit
come to us from another place,
burning with life and a hope
that will not be quenched;
through Jesus Christ, the one who is to come.
Amen.
First Reading
A Poem for Vipers

by John Wieners

I sit in Lees. At 11:40 PM with
Jimmy the pusher. He teaches me
Ju Ju. Hot on the table before us
shrimp foo yong, rice and mushroom
chow yuke. Up the street under the wheels
of a strange car is his stash—The ritual.
We make it. And have made it.
For months now together after midnight.
Soon I know the fuzz will
interrupt, will arrest Jimmy and
I shall be placed on probation. The poem
does not lie to us. We lie under
its law, alive in the glamour of this hour
able to enter into the sacred places
of his dark people, who carry secrets
glassed in their eyes and hide words
under the coats of their tongue.

Second Reading
A Hatchet with Which to Chop at the Frozen Seas Inside Us
by Gillian Conoley
to wake to winter     in the coming out of the time of year
when they release
the masterpieces,
                                            but to be still in the other night.
                        some drown in movies.
some prefer the unfinished
ungovernable recital,
                                a mystical ecology
                 where one dies in a camp,
   or rolls out with the dice
                  on the sidewalk among boys with
cardboard shields
                                          and plays dead in white crinoline.
what if paradise was only lifting the veil to flirt.
                        no one perfect, but perfection inserts
us so, Pascal
                 thinks a God in his pocket.
what if paradise meant walking
                                    on the ground of our self estrangement,
and the veil of our gaze
                           an unsteady balm
was not what we saw through
                                but were,   twisting, untwisting—
do you believe.            we were never strictly servants.
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Gospel Reading
Luke 3:7-18

Then John said to the crowds who came to be baptized by him, “You children of snakes! Who warned you to escape from the angry judgment that is coming soon? Produce fruit that shows you have changed your hearts and lives. And don’t even think about saying to yourselves, Abraham is our father. I tell you that God is able to raise up Abraham’s children from these stones. The ax is already at the root of the trees. Therefore, every tree that doesn’t produce good fruit will be chopped down and tossed into the fire.”

The crowds asked him, “What then should we do?”

He answered, “Whoever has two shirts must share with the one who has none, and whoever has food must do the same.”

Even tax collectors came to be baptized. They said to him, “Teacher, what should we do?”

He replied, “Collect no more than you are authorized to collect.”

Soldiers asked, “What about us? What should we do?”

He answered, “Don’t cheat or harass anyone, and be satisfied with your pay.”

The people were filled with expectation, and everyone wondered whether John might be the Christ. John replied to them all, “I baptize you with water, but the one who is more powerful than me is coming. I’m not worthy to loosen the strap of his sandals. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire. The shovel he uses to sift the wheat from the husks is in his hands. He will clean out his threshing area and bring the wheat into his barn. But he will burn the husks with a fire that can’t be put out.” With many other words John appealed to them, proclaiming good news to the people.

 

Musical Reflection
While You Wait for the Others by Grizzly Bear

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Prayer
by Harvey Stower, adapted

Gracious God, May the light shine on all our days.
It is there, despite illness, defeat, and tears.
It is eternal.
Amen.

The Lord’s Prayer

O Source of the Radiance,
dancing in and about all-that-is,
Shine forth into the depths of our beings,
and enkindle there the flame of thy essence.
Grant that it may blaze forth
and fill us with its searing creativity,
Until, fully united with thy fiery desire,
light pours out from us, taking form.
May we be revitalised each day
with nourishment for body and spirit,
And be liberated from all that oppresses us,
as we struggle to mend the fabric of our world.
Let us not be enmeshed in the nets of illusion,
but illuminate the opportunities of the present moment.
For from thee shine forth
the precepts, the sustenance, and the generative fire,
from centring to centring. Ameyn.

Musical Reflection
Waiting to Know You by the Fiery Furnaces


Blessing

May the Maker’s blessing be ours,
encircling us round
above us
within us.

May the angels’ blessings be ours
and the joy of the saints
to inspire us
to cherish us.

May the Holy Child’s blessing be ours,
the wine and the water,
the bread and the stories
to feed us
to remind us.

May the Spirit’s blessing be ours,
the wind, the fire,
the still small voice
to comfort us
to disturb us.

And may we all bless each other –
a blessing rooted in our common pilgrimage,
the blessing of friends.

May the blessing of God – the Creator, the Human, and the Spirit,
be with us and remain with us always. Amen.

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Sources:

Artwork by Victor Pasmore

Invocation from Prayers for an Inclusive Church by Steven Shakespeare

Musical Reflection Waiting for Baby by Julie Doiron

Poem A Poem for Vipers by John Wieners

Poem A Hatchet with which to Chop at the Frozen Seas inside us by Gillian Conoley

Musical Reflection While you Wait for the Others by Grizzly Bear

Prayer by Harvey Stower

Aramaic Lord’s Prayer by Mark Hathaway

Musical Reflection Waiting to Know You by The Fiery Furnaces

Blessing from The Pattern of our Days

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