Pentecost +13, Year C

Musical Reflection
Set Fire to the Rain by Adele



God of restless fire,
and urgent river’s flow:
unsettle the false peace
which hides our divisions;
unfold our hearts
to sense your presence;
unloose your kindom
and make us one
in Jesus Christ, the first of many siblings.


First Reading
Symptoms of Prophecy

by Camille Rankine

In the new century,

we lose the art of many things.

For example, at the beep, I communicate

using the wrong machine.

I called to say we have two lives

and only one of them is real.

When the phone rings: you could be anybody.

In the evening: you are homeless

and hunting for good light, as safe a place

as any to make a bed for the night.

In both my lives, my nerves go bust.

I’m certain that I’m not

as I appear, that I’m a figment and

you’re not really here.

The struggle

is authenticity.

I have a message.
You must believe me.

Second Reading
The Fire Cycle
 by Zachary Schomburg

There are trees and they are on fire. There are hummingbirds and they are on fire. There are graves and they are on fire and the things coming out of the graves are on fire. The house you grew up in is on fire. There is a gigantic trebuchet on fire on the edge of a crater and the crater is on fire. There is a complex system of tunnels deep underneath the surface with only one entrance and one exit and the entire system is filled with fire. There is a wooden cage we’re trapped in, too large to see, and it is on fire. There are jaguars on fire. Wolves. Spiders. Wolf-spiders on fire. If there were people. If our fathers were alive. If we had a daughter. Fire to the edges. Fire in the river beds. Fire between the mattresses of the bed you were born in. Fire in your mother’s belly. There is a little boy wearing a fire shirt holding a baby lamb. There is a little girl in a fire skirt asking if she can ride the baby lamb like a horse. There is you on top of me with thighs of fire while a hot red fog hovers in your hair. There is me on top of you wearing a fire shirt and then pulling the fire shirt over my head and tossing it like a fireball through the fog at a new kind of dinosaur. There are meteorites disintegrating in the atmosphere just a few thousand feet above us and tiny fireballs are falling down around us, pooling around us, forming a kind of fire lake which then forms a kind of fire cloud. There is this feeling I get when I am with you. There is our future house burning like a star on the hill. There is our dark flickering shadow. There is my hand on fire in your hand on fire, my body on fire above your body on fire, our tongues made of ash. We are rocks on a distant and uninhabitable planet. We have our whole life ahead of us.


Gospel Reading
Luke 12:49-56

“I came to cast fire upon the earth. How I wish that it was already ablaze! I have a baptism I must experience. How I am distressed until it’s completed! Do you think that I have come to bring peace to the earth? No, I tell you, I have come instead to bring division. From now on, a household of five will be divided—three against two and two against three. Father will square off against son and son against father; mother against daughter and daughter against mother; and mother-in-law against daughter-in-law and daughter-in-law against mother-in-law.”

Jesus also said to the crowds, “When you see a cloud forming in the west, you immediately say, ‘It’s going to rain.’ And indeed it does. And when a south wind blows, you say, ‘A heat wave is coming.’ And it does. Hypocrites! You know how to interpret conditions on earth and in the sky. How is it that you don’t know how to interpret the present time?


Musical Reflection
I am Part of a Large Family by Great Lake Swimmers


 Kenyan Prayer
from Revised Liturgy for Holy Communion, adapted

All our problems
We send to the setting sun
All our difficulties
We send to the setting sun
All the devil’s works
We send to the setting sun
All our hopes
We set on the Risen One.

The Lord’s Prayer

O Breathing Life, your Name shines everywhere!
Release a space to plant your Presence here.
Imagine your possibilities now.
Embody your desire in every light and form.
Grow through us this moment’s bread and wisdom.
Untie the knots of failure binding us,
as we release the strands we hold of others’ faults.
Help us not forget our Source,
Yet free us from not being in the Present.
From you arises every Vision, Power and Song
from gathering to gathering.
Amen –
May our future actions grow from here!


Musical Reflection
A Telegram from the Future by Russian Futurists



Name Unnamed, whose intriguing presence
is closer to home than we dare imagine,
fill us with wonder of you
that we may be filled with wonder of ourselves.

Name Unnamed, whose creativity is a river running,
startle us with diversity
and surprise us with difference
that we may be filled with wonder of others.

Name Unnamed, whose mystery and concern
is revealed in Jesus,
reshape our perceptions,
reshape our patterns of living,
reshape our politics and prayer,
that we may be filled with wonder of a world made whole.

May the blessing of God – the Memory, the Understanding,
and the Will
be with us and remain with us always. Amen.




Artwork by Matt Bollinger

Invocation from Prayers for an Inclusive Church by Steven Shakespeare

Musical Reflection Set Fire to the Rain by Adele

Poem Symptoms of Prophecy by Camille Rankine

Poem The Fire Cycle by Zachary Schomburg

Musical Reflection I am a Part of a Large Family by Great Lake Swimmers

Kenyan Prayer from Revised Liturgy for Holy Communion

Lord’s Prayer by Mark Berry

Musical Reflection A Telegram from the Future by The Russian Futurists

Blessing from The Pattern of our Days

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