Fifth after Epiphany, Year C

Musical Reflection
Give a Man a Fish by Arrested Development

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Invocation

Lord of the deep waters,
you call us from the safety of the shore
to an adventure of the spirit:
open wide our arms
to embrace the world
you dare to serve;
through Jesus Christ, who gives life in abundance.
Amen.

First Reading

Fishing
by AE Stallings

The two of them stood in the middle water,
The current slipping away, quick and cold,
The sun slow at his zenith, sweating gold,
Once, in some sullen summer of father and daughter.
Maybe he regretted he had brought her—
She’d rather have been elsewhere, her look told—
Perhaps a year ago, but now too old.
Still, she remembered lessons he had taught her:
To cast towards shadows, where the sunlight fails
And fishes shelter in the undergrowth.
And when the unseen strikes, how all else pales
Beside the bright-dark struggle, the rainbow wroth,
Life and death weighed in the shining scales,
The invisible line pulled taut that links them both.

 

Second Reading
Cloud Fishing
by Phyllis Levin

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.

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Gospel Reading
Luke 5:1-11

One day Jesus was standing beside Lake Gennesaret when the crowd pressed in around him to hear God’s word. Jesus saw two boats sitting by the lake. The fishers had gone ashore and were washing their nets. Jesus boarded one of the boats, the one that belonged to Simon, then asked him to row out a little distance from the shore. Jesus sat down and taught the crowds from the boat. When he finished speaking to the crowds, he said to Simon, “Row out farther, into the deep water, and drop your nets for a catch.”

Simon replied, “Master, we’ve worked hard all night and caught nothing. But because you say so, I’ll drop the nets.”

So they dropped the nets and their catch was so huge that their nets were splitting. They signaled for their partners in the other boat to come and help them. They filled both boats so full that they were about to sink. When Simon Peter saw the catch, he fell at Jesus’s knees and said, “Leave me, Lord, for I’m a sinner!” Peter and those with him were overcome with amazement because of the number of fish they caught. James and John, Zebedee’s children, were Simon’s partners and they were amazed too.

Jesus said to Simon, “Don’t be afraid. From now on, you will be fishing for people.” As soon as they brought the boats to the shore, they left everything and followed Jesus.

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A Serenity Prayer
by Richard Holdsworth, adapted

Source of Good;
grant us the serenity
to accept
that we cannot change other people;
the courage
to change our selves;
and the wisdom
to appreciate differences.
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.


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.

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Sources:

Artwork by John Beech

Invocation from Prayers for an Inclusive Church by Steven Shakespeare

Musical Reflection Give a Man a Fish by Arrested Development

Poem Fishing by AE Stallings

Poem Cloud Fishing by Phyllis Levin

Musical Reflection Fish by Moist

Prayer by Richard Holdsworth

Aramaic Lord’s Prayer by Mark Hathaway

Musical Reflection Fighting Fish by Dessa

Blessing from The Pattern of our Days

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