Band of Gold by Freda Payne
burning wild and unconfined,
you call us into a new being,
free from the fear of death:
take away the limits
that bind our imagination
and choke our compassion
that we may feel your pleasure
in all that brings us life;
Questions about the Wife
by Rebecca Hazelton
by Linda Gregerson
see why she should get on the boat, etc.,
etc., while life as we know it hangs by a thread.
has had one or two great deadpan lines:
Who told you (this was back at the start—
of the tautology had just snapped shut) Who
told you you were naked? The world
was so new
that death hadn’t been till this minute
required. What makes you think (the
withers under their feet) we were told?
The woman’s disobedience is good for
as also for restoring plot to human
scale: three hundred cubits by fifty
What’s that in inches exactly? Whereas
all obstinate wife is common coin.
the beginning was nothing and then a flaw
in the nothing, a sort of mistake that amplified, the
mistranscribed (it takes such discipline
to keep the prospect clean) and now the lion
the beetle rolls its ball of dung, and Noah
with no more than a primitive double-
is supposed to make it right.
We find the Creator in an awkward bind.
to oblivion? Think again. The housewife
at her laundry tub has got a better grip.
be why we’ve tried to find her laughable,
she’s such an unhappy reminder of what
costs. Ask the boy who cannot, though
God know’s he’s tried, he swears
of melting soap will be his last, who cannot
turn the water off when once he’s turned it on.
are raw. His body seems like filth to him.
Who told you (the pharmacopoeia has
the malady’s still the same) Who told you
you were food for worms?
makes you think (the furrow, the fruit)
I had to be told?
Some Sadducees, who deny that there’s a resurrection, came to Jesus and asked,“Teacher, Moses wrote for us that if a man’s brother dies leaving a widow but no children, the brother must marry the widow and raise up children for his brother. Now there were seven brothers. The first man married a woman and then died childless. The second and then the third brother married her. Eventually all seven married her, and they all died without leaving any children. Finally, the woman died too. In the resurrection, whose wife will she be? All seven were married to her.”
Jesus said to them, “The children of this age marry each other. But those who are considered worthy to participate in that age, that is, in the age of the resurrection from the dead, won’t marry nor will they be given in marriage. They can no longer die, because they are like angels and are God’s children since they share in the resurrection. Even Moses demonstrated that the dead are raised—in the passage about the burning bush, when he speaks of the Lord as the God of Sarah and Abraham, the God of Rebecca and Isaac, and the God of Leah and Rachel and Jacob. God isn’t the God of the dead but of the living. All are alive to God.”
Don’t Blame Yourself by Sixpence None the Richer
from the ruins of St Stephen’s Walbrook London, adapted
make the door of our homes wide enough
to receive all who need human love and fellowship;
narrow enough to shut out
all envy, pride and strife.
Make our thresholds smooth enough
to be no stumbling block to children,
nor to straying feet,
but rugged and strong enough
to turn back the tempter’s power.
God, make the doors to our homes the gateway
to your eternal kindom.
The Lord’s Prayer
infused throughout all existence,
we honour you with many names.
Your realm is within the human heart.
We accept life for all that it can be,
on earth as throughout all creation.
May we continue to draw sustenance from this earth,
and may we receive forgiveness equal to our own.
May we ever move from separation toward union,
to live in grace, with love in our hearts, forever and ever.
The Last Day of Our Acquaintance by Sinead O’Connor
May God’s joy be in our hearts
and God’s love surround our living.
Each day and night and
wherever we roam,
may we know God’s presence.
In growing and learning,
in joy and sorrow,
in beginnings and endings,
may God keep us and bless us
all the days of our lives.
May the blessing of God – the Beginning, the End, and the Everlasting,
be with us and remain with us always. Amen.