Pentecost +26, Year C

Musical Reflection
The Day the World went Away by Nine Inch Nails

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Invocation

God, who is faithful
when all the foundations crumble:
in the time of crisis,
as holy places fall
and nations stumble,
give us the conviction
to bear witness to love,
whatever the cost;
through Jesus Christ, the Word and Wisdom of God.

Amen.

First Reading

ESCHATOLOGY
 by Sandra McPherson

I accompany this life’s events like a personal journalist:
“Little did she know when she got in the car that afternoon …”;
or “Despite inauspicious beginnings,
this was to be their happiest year.”

Little did I expect that our horoscopes would prove true.
And how could we foresee an answer to
that frankly secular prayer, we with so little faith
as to be false prophets to our most fortunate gifts.

I am glad when doom fails. Inept apocalypse
is a specialty of the times: the suffering of the rich
at the hand of riches; the second and third comings of wars.

Shouldn’t we refuse prediction
that the untried today is guilty, that immeasurable
as this child’s hope is, it will break tomorrow?


Second Reading
The Powwow at the End of the World
by Sherman Alexie

I am told by many of you that I must forgive and so I shall
after an Indian woman puts her shoulder to the Grand Coulee Dam
and topples it. I am told by many of you that I must forgive
and so I shall after the floodwaters burst each successive dam
downriver from the Grand Coulee. I am told by many of you
that I must forgive and so I shall after the floodwaters find
their way to the mouth of the Columbia River as it enters the Pacific
and causes all of it to rise. I am told by many of you that I must forgive
and so I shall after the first drop of floodwater is swallowed by that salmon
waiting in the Pacific. I am told by many of you that I must forgive and so I shall
after that salmon swims upstream, through the mouth of the Columbia
and then past the flooded cities, broken dams and abandoned reactors
of Hanford. I am told by many of you that I must forgive and so I shall
after that salmon swims through the mouth of the Spokane River
as it meets the Columbia, then upstream, until it arrives
in the shallows of a secret bay on the reservation where I wait alone.
I am told by many of you that I must forgive and so I shall after
that salmon leaps into the night air above the water, throws
a lightning bolt at the brush near my feet, and starts the fire
which will lead all of the lost Indians home. I am told
by many of you that I must forgive and so I shall
after we Indians have gathered around the fire with that salmon
who has three stories it must tell before sunrise: one story will teach us
how to pray; another story will make us laugh for hours;
the third story will give us reason to dance. I am told by many
of you that I must forgive and so I shall when I am dancing
with my tribe during the powwow at the end of the world.
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Gospel Reading
Luke 21:5-19

Some people were talking about the temple, how it was decorated with beautiful stones and ornaments dedicated to God. Jesus said, “As for the things you are admiring, the time is coming when not even one stone will be left upon another. All will be demolished.”

They asked him, “Teacher, when will these things happen? What sign will show that these things are about to happen?”

Jesus said, “Watch out that you aren’t deceived. Many will come in my name, saying, ‘I’m the one!’ and ‘It’s time!’ Don’t follow them. When you hear of wars and rebellions, don’t be alarmed. These things must happen first, but the end won’t happen immediately.”

Then Jesus said to them, “Nations and kingdoms will fight against each other. There will be great earthquakes and wide-scale food shortages and epidemics. There will also be terrifying sights and great signs in the sky. But before all this occurs, they will take you into custody and harass you because of your faith. They will hand you over to meeting places and prisons, and you will be brought before rulers and governors because of my name. This will provide you with an opportunity to testify. Make up your minds not to prepare your defense in advance. I’ll give you words and wisdom that none of your opponents will be able to counter or contradict. You will be betrayed by your parents, siblings, relatives, and friends. They will execute some of you. Everyone will hate you because of my name. Still, not a hair on your heads will be lost. By holding fast, you will gain your lives.

 

Musical Reflection
Sky is Falling by Blackalicious

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Sikh Prayer for Peace
from the Adi Granth

The world is on fire: O God, Save it in Your mercy.
Through whatever door we come to You,
Save us, we pray.

The Lord’s Prayer

Indwelling God,
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.
Amen.

 


Blessing

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 friendship,
in solitude,
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.

 

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Sources:

Artwork by Francesco Carone

Invocation from Prayers for an Inclusive Church by Steven Shakespeare

Musical Reflection The Day the World Went Away by Nine Inch Nails

Poem ESCHATOLOGY by Sandra McPherson

Poem The Powwow at the End of the World by Sherman Alexie

Musical Reflection Sky is Falling by Blackalicious

Prayer from the Adi Granth

Lord’s Prayer by Fred F Keip

Musical Reflection London Calling by the Clash

Blessing from The Pattern of our Days

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