Lent One, Year C

Musical Reflection
When the Devil’s Loose by A. A. Bondy

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Invocation

God of the Wilderness,
your Spirit leads us
to face the truth, unprotected and exposed:
in our times of trial,
help us to resist
the worship of empty power
and the illusion of invulnerability
that we might find our true food
in Jesus Christ, the Broken Bread.
Amen.

First Reading
I Saw the Devil with His Needlework

by Bianca Stone

The air was like a bullet made out of silk
I saw him at the curb
on old upholstery
saw him with his counted-thread-point
and tent-stitch, bent over an embroidery hoop
the trees lifted their drunk limbs and leaves
while the evening
looked through a succession of windows
into other people’s rooms
the evening was a powerful gun
the evening had an Uzi
broad evening
in a neighborhood full of translucent teens
sucking on one another’s backpacks
filling up the trains with their heat
their intelligence pouring out into the street, sobbing—
I saw the devil with his sewing threads
making something special for me
and it wasn’t thunder
it was perfect clouds
I saw the devil with his stitching techniques
textiles and shadow
saw his hands that never stopped
the clean amp of his forehead
tight intervals of flowers in his teeth
bright as an earring in the drain
and I made a force field with the wilderness in my face
and a fortune-teller’s neon sign
that glowed a painted light onto the street
and I said his name
and his crimes
three times against a curse
and found a coin on the ground and read the tiny date
and blessed a bag of weed
and a wild bore
I left my bones and my scars
and went out
like a poltergeist
totally empty

 

Second Reading
Water Devil
by Jamaal May

Spout of a leaf,
listen out for the screams
of your relentless audience:
the applause of a waterfall

in the distance,

a hurricane looting
a Miami shopping mall.
How careful you are
with the rain-cradling

curve of your back.

Near your forest,
all are ready to swim
and happy to drown
in me: this lake of fire
that moats the edges.

From my mouth,
they come to peel the flames
and drink their slick throats
into the most silent
of ashes.

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Gospel Reading
Luke 4:1-13

Jesus returned from the Jordan River full of the Holy Spirit, and was led by the Spirit into the wilderness. There he was tempted for forty days by the devil. He ate nothing during those days and afterward Jesus was starving. The devil said to him, “Since you are God’s Child, command this stone to become a loaf of bread.”

Jesus replied, “It’s written, People won’t live only by bread.”

Next the devil led him to a high place and showed him in a single instant all the kingdoms of the world. The devil said, “I will give you this whole domain and the glory of all these kingdoms. It’s been entrusted to me and I can give it to anyone I want. Therefore, if you will worship me, it will all be yours.”

Jesus answered, “It’s written, You will worship the Lord your God and serve only God.”

The devil brought him into Jerusalem and stood him at the highest point of the temple. He said to him, “Since you are God’s Child, throw yourself down from here; for it’s written: God will command the angels concerning you, to protect you and they will take you up in their hands so that you won’t hit your foot on a stone.

Jesus answered, “It’s been said, Don’t test the Lord your God.” After finishing every temptation, the devil departed from him until the next opportunity.

 

Musical Reflection
Devil May Cry by The Weeknd

 

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Prayer
by Anne Laeticia Waring, adapted

In heav’nly love abiding,
no change our hearts shall fear;
and safe is such confiding,
for nothing changes here.
The storm may roar without us,
our hearts may low be laid,
but God is round about us,
and can we be dismayed?
Amen.


The Lord’s Prayer

O Parent of the Universe,
manifesting thyself as generative energy,
Bend over us and remove
all that clutters our being
and set apart a place
where thy sacredness may dwell.
Fill us with thy creativity,
so that we may be empowered to bear
the fruit of thy vision.
Then, moving to the heartbeat of thy desire,
make us the embodiment of thy compassion.
Drawing from the ground of our humanity
grant that we may renew each other
with love, understanding, and sustenance.
Empty us of frustrated hopes and despair,
as we restore others to a renewal of vision.
And let us not fall into agitation,
but save us from precipitous actions.
For thou art the ground
of the fruitful vision, the birthing-power, and the fulfilment,
as all is gathered and made whole once again. Ameyn.

Musical Reflection
Devil’s Spoke by Laura Marling


Blessing

Bless to us, O God,
the doors we open,
the thresholds we cross,
the roads that lie before us.
Go with us as we go
and welcome us home.

May the blessing of God – the One From Whom, the One Through Whom,
and the One in Whom We Offer Our Praise
,
be with us and remain with us always. Amen.

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Sources:

Artwork by Aydin Büyüktas

Invocation from Prayers for an Inclusive Church by Steven Shakespeare

Musical Reflection When the Devil’s Loose by A.A. Bondy

Poem I Saw the Devil with His Needlework by Bianca Stone

Poem Water Devil by Jamaal May

Musical Reflection Devil May Cry by The Weeknd

Prayer by Anne Laeticia Waring

Aramaic Lord’s Prayer by Mark Hathaway

Musical Reflection Devil’s Spoke by Laura Marling

Blessing from The Pattern of our Days

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