Pentecost +20, Year C

Musical Reflection
Hope of New Fields by Jonny Greenwood

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Invocation

Lord of the growing seed,
you reach to the roots of our being
and quench our sea-deep thirst:
help us to know ourselves
through the eyes of the other
who calls us to answer and serve
and, in the end, be filled;
through Jesus Christ, the Master of the Table.

Amen.

First Reading

Mulberry
 by Craig Arnold

You have towered here
leaning half over the wall
all my awarenessyears before I knew
what silkworm was or China
I felt your berries

pulp under my feet
tracked your purple all over
grandmother’s carpet

a sapling planted
by some sea captain to make
shade for a future

This winter you lost
one of  your long low branches
to a backed-up car

and the old woman
who has known you all her life
wept at the split wood

Your bark is wrinkled
more deeply than any face
you live so slowly

do our voices sound
to you like the fluttering
of  paper moth wings

do we seem rootless
holding fast to the anchor
of  the saddest things

Second Reading
Mustard
by William Heyen

 

Down at the lake we looked about us,
saw tares growing among the wheat,
saw fishermen at their nets,
saw the mustard’s yellow blossoms,
pods bursting at the ends of stiff stems.

In dry graves its seeds have passed
millennia like minutes. Brought to life again,
these sprout in new tears. Tares, wheat,
fishermen still at their nets
under the golden sun, and mustard, for us

to taste the world’s sorrow never grown old
wisdom powdered to bloom on the tongue.


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Gospel Reading
Luke 17:5-10

The apostles said to the Lord, “Increase our faith!”

The Lord replied, “If you had faith the size of a mustard seed, you could say to this mulberry tree, ‘Be uprooted and planted in the sea,’ and it would obey you.

“Would any of you say to your servant, who had just come in from the field after plowing or tending sheep, ‘Come! Sit down for dinner’? Wouldn’t you say instead, ‘Fix my dinner. Put on the clothes of a table servant and wait on me while I eat and drink. After that, you can eat and drink’? You won’t thank the servant because the servant did what you asked, will you? In the same way, when you have done everything required of you, you should say, ‘We servants deserve no special praise. We have only done our duty.’”

 

 

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Prayer of the Mustard Seed
by Shane Alexander, adapted

We pray to you God
with the faith of a mustard seed,
that all we do,
all we say,
all we think,
and all we hope
will take root in this world
and be the source for of new expressions
of your love,
of your justice,
of your character,
of your mission,
and of your kindom.
May your will be done on earth as it is in heaven
through us,
alongside us,
despite us,
and for us.
For yours is the kindom,
yours is the power,
and yours is the glory
whenever our expressions of faith invite your healing reign to come.
Amen.

The Lord’s Prayer

O God, you love us like a good parent,
and are present in every aspect of our existence.
May your nature become known and respected by all.
May your joy, peace, wholeness and justice
be the reality for everyone as we live by the Jesus Way.
Give us all that we really need to live every day for you.
And forgive us our failures as we forgive others for their failures.
Keep us from doing those things which are not of you,
and cause us always to be centered on your love.
For you are the true reality in this our now, and in all our future.
In the Jesus Way we pray. Amen.

 

Musical Reflection
In the Garden by Loretta Lynn

 


Blessing

As we were in the ebb and flow,
as the beginning becomes the ending,
and the ending a new beginning,
be with us,
ever-present God.
May the blessing of God – the Equality, the Diversity, and the Unity,
be with us and remain with us always. Amen.

 

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Sources:

Artwork by Anne Pratt

Invocation from Prayers for an Inclusive Church by Steven Shakespeare

Musical Reflection Hope of New Fields by Jonny Greenwood

Poem Mulberry by Craig Arnold

Poem Mustard by William Heyen

Musical Reflection Blue Leaves by Soley

Prayer by Shane Alexander

Lord’s Prayer by David Sorril

Musical Reflection In the Garden by Loretta Lynn

Blessing from The Pattern of our Days

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