Pentecost +9, Year C

Musical Reflection
You Showed Me The Way by Ella Fitzgerald




God of unnatural wisdom,
you gave us Jesus our Rabbi
to question the roles we play,
the submissions we enforce:
may your living truth
free us from the lie of exclusion
and make us all
learners and doers of your word;
through Jesus Christ, teacher and liberator.


First Reading
My Physics Teacher

by David Wagoner

He tried to convince us, but his billiard ball
Fell faster than his pingpong ball and thumped
To the floor first, in spite of Galileo.
The rainbows from his prism skidded off-screen
Before we could tell an infra from an ultra.
His hand-cranked generator refused to spit
Sparks and settled for smoke. The dangling pith
Ignored the attractions of his amber wand,
No matter how much static he rubbed and dubbed
From the seat of his pants, and the housebrick
He lowered into a tub of water weighed
(Eureka!) more than the overflow.

He believed in a World of Laws, where problems had answers,
Where tangible objects and intangible forces
Acting thereon could be lettered, and numbered, and crammed
Through our tough skulls for lifetimes of homework.
But his only uncontestable demonstration
Came with our last class: he broke his chalk
On a formula, stooped to catch it, knocked his forehead
On the eraser-gutter, staggered slewfoot, and stuck
One foot forever into the wastebasket.

Second Reading
by Marianne Boruch

My drawing teacher said: Look, think, make a mark.
Look, I told myself.

And waited to be marked.

Clouds are white but they darken
with rain. Even a child blurs them back
to little woolies on a hillside, little
bundles without legs. Look, my teacher

would surely tell me, they’re nothing

like that. Like that: the lie. Like that: the poem.
She said: Respond to the heaviest part
of the figure first. Density is

form. That I keep hearing destiny

is not a mark of character. Like pilgrimage
once morphed to mirage in a noisy room, someone
so earnest at my ear. Then marriage slid.
Mir-aage, Mir-aage, I heard the famous poet let loose

awry into her microphone, triumphant.

The figure to be drawn —
not even half my age. She’s completely
emptied her face for this job of standing still an hour.

Look. Okay. But the little

dream in there, inside the think
that comes next. A pencil in my hand, its secret life
is charcoal, the wood already burnt,
a sacrifice.


Gospel Reading
Luke 10:38-42

While Jesus and his disciples were traveling, Jesus entered a village where a woman named Martha welcomed him as a guest. She had a sister named Mary, who sat at the Lord’s feet and listened to his message. By contrast, Martha was preoccupied with getting everything ready for their meal. So Martha came to him and said, “Lord, don’t you care that my sister has left me to prepare the table all by myself? Tell her to help me.”

The Lord answered, “Martha, Martha, you are worried and distracted by many things. One thing is necessary. Mary has chosen the better part. It won’t be taken away from her.”


Musical Reflection
Martha by Tom Waits


by Reinhold Niebuhr, adapted

God, grant us the serenity
to accept the things we cannot change;
courage to change the things we can;
and wisdom to know the difference.
Living one day at a time;
enjoying one moment at a time;
accepting hardships as a pathway to peace;
taking, as Jesus did, this sinful world
as it is, not as we would have it;
trusting that God will make all things right;
that we may be reasonably happy in this life
and supremely happy with God
forever in the next. Amen.

The Lord’s Prayer

Dear One, closer to us than our own hearts, farther from us than the most distant star, you are beyond naming.

May your powerful presence become obvious not only in the undeniable glory of the sky, but also in the seemingly base and common processes of the earth.

Give us what we need, day by day, to keep body and soul together, because clever as you have made us, we still owe our existence to you.

We recognize that to be reconciled with you, we must live peaceably and justly with other human beings, putting hate and bitterness behind us.

We are torn between our faith in your goodness and our awareness of the evil in your creation, so deliver us from the temptation to despair.

Yours alone is the universe and all its majesty and beauty.

So it is, Amen.


Musical Reflection
School by The Kissaway Trail



God, our passionate life,
we bless you for the infinite beauty of created things –
sand, wind, wave, and the wings of the eagle –
for the love of land and people,
for the vine and the fruit and the good wine.
We bless you for the endurance of hope,
for the promise of renewal,
and for fleeting moments on the mountaintop.
Blessed are you, God, our passionate life.

May the blessing of God – the Creative Idea, the Creative Energy,
and the Creative Power
be with us and remain with us always. Amen.




Artwork by Lia Melia

Invocation from Prayers for an Inclusive Church by Steven Shakespeare

Musical Reflection You Showed Me the Way by Ella Fitzgerald

Poem My Physics Teacher by David Wagoner

Poem Pencil by Marianne Boruch

Musical Reflection Martha by Tom Waits

Prayer by Reinhold Niebuhr

Lord’s Prayer by Jim Burklo

Musical Reflection School by The Kissaway Trail

Blessing from The Pattern of our Days

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