Fourth after Epiphany, Year C

 

Musical Reflection
The World is not my Home by Red Foley and the Jordanaires

 

1280px-Starry_Night_Over_the_Rhone

Invocation

Provoking God,
calling us through the face of the Other:
free our fickle hearts
from our need to divide and exclude;
lead us through the storms of rage
to a clear and new beginning;
through Jesus Christ, whom hatred cannot touch.
Amen.

First Reading

Home Again Home Again
by A F Moritz

Your parents had reached a long slow time,
as animals do, the great center of their lives,
when they gleam in their fells as though eternally,
unchanging. Or as a day can seem eternal
if you lie and watch the full clouds, conscious
of your own time: you soon must get up and leave.
So father, mother, the small shabby town,
its patch of earth going on as though forever: you
forgot them there, where they’d been since you started out
and where you could find them again—as anyone
forgets what he has to lean on
so deeply and heavily that it wounds his side

and the pain seems only himself.

Ungrateful? So you accused yourself one day,
waking suddenly. And when you went at last
to look for them where they always are, they’d gone,
or were withered alive, their mouths opening and closing
without sound. The buildings had leaned still farther
toward the dusty weeds and crumbs of old machines
littered everywhere inexplicably. And now
who will explain them? Your grandfather’s day
is as absent from your thought as is your own
gestation. And check the records:
what is written down says nothing.
The volumes all avoid the one question you have.
They’re like the notebooks you kept in adolescence:
you turn the endless pages and you wonder,
what did I know or feel, how did I live then,
what was this violence and love, this utter newness,
invention that could sing water and light, raging
at the first touch of dying, never mentioning death?
You went back and the bones of your native town
were like that, records from which something had escaped:
a skeletal mill that roofed ghostly technologies
where men once worked, coughed, burnt, bled.
And that way they had permitted the long pageants
of the children. And their mothers—whose images,
vague, identical, stalk by in the nights,
each one sorrowing and serene, her starved, enamelled,
hard flesh torn, her dress the blue of late dusk,
the heaven behind her a work of flat blinding gold.

 

Second Reading
The Crow
by Kunst Judith McCune

Was it because
at last

I cleaned the window

that he threw himself
against the glass?

I thought, poor crow—

he doesn’t know
the evergreens

and blue sky

are behind him.
I turned back

to my page

but whumpp
the bird attacked

the glass again.

His long claws
scuffled at the pane

and I yelled “Crow!

Go away!”
Again his body slapped

the glass,

again
and then again,

and then at last

he caught my eye—
oh, prophet,

terrified.

 

Vincent_Willem_van_Gogh_127

Gospel Reading
Luke 4:21-30

He began to explain to them, “Today, this scripture has been fulfilled just as you heard it.”

Everyone was raving about Jesus, so impressed were they by the gracious words flowing from his lips. They said, “This is Joseph’s child, isn’t it?”

Then Jesus said to them, “Undoubtedly, you will quote this saying to me: ‘Doctor, heal yourself. Do here in your hometown what we’ve heard you did in Capernaum.’” He said, “I assure you that no prophet is welcome in the prophet’s hometown. And I can assure you that there were many widows in Israel during Elijah’s time, when it didn’t rain for three and a half years and there was a great food shortage in the land. Yet Elijah was sent to none of them but only to a widow in the city of Zarephath in the region of Sidon. There were also many persons with skin diseases in Israel during the time of the prophet Elisha, but none of them were cleansed. Instead, Naaman the Syrian was cleansed.”

When they heard this, everyone in the synagogue was filled with anger. They rose up and ran him out of town. They led him to the crest of the hill on which their town had been built so that they could throw him off the cliff. But he passed through the crowd and went on his way.

Musical Reflection
Outside by Aphex Twin

A_Vincent_Van_Gogh
Prayer
by Archbishop Timothy Olufosoye of Nigeria, adapted

In our journeys to and fro,
God direct us;
On our happiness and pleasure
God bless us;
In care, anxiety, or trouble
God sustain us;
In peril and in danger
God protect us.
Amen.

The Lord’s Prayer

O Silent Sound,
whose shimmering music pulsates
at the heart of each and all,
Clear a space in us where thy melody
may be perceived in its purity.
Let the rhythm of thy counsel reverberate through our lives,
so that we move to the beat of justice, love, and peace.
Then, our whole being at one with thy song,
grant that the earth may be filled
with the beauty of thy voice.
Endow us with the wisdom to produce and share
what each being needs to grow and flourish,
And give us courage to embrace our shadow with emptiness,
as we embrace others in their darkness.
But let us not be captive to uncertainty,
nor cling to fruitless pursuits.
For from thee springs forth
the rhythm, the melody, and the harmony,
which restores all to balance, again and again. Ameyn.

Musical Reflection
Coming Home by City and Colour


Blessing

Blessing and laughter and loving be ours,
the love of a great God
who names us
and holds us
while the earth turns and flowers grow
this day
this night
this moment
and forever.

May the blessing of God – the Giver, the Gift, and the Giving,
be with us and remain with us always. Amen.

1280px-Van_Gogh_-_Starry_Night_-_Google_Art_Project

Sources:

Artwork by Vincent Van Gogh

Invocation from Prayers for an Inclusive Church by Steven Shakespeare

Musical Reflection The World is not my Home by Red Foley and the Jordanaires

Poem Home Again Home Again by A F Moritz

Poem The Crow by Kunst Judith McCune

Musical Reflection Outside by Aphex Twin

Prayer by Timothy Olufosoye

Aramaic Lord’s Prayer by Mark Hathaway

Musical Reflection Coming Home by City and Colour

Blessing from The Pattern of our Days

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