Fourth after Epiphany, Year A

Musical Reflection
Pitter Patter Goes My Heart by Broken Social Scene

diego_velazquez_017
Invocation

Foolish God,
shaming the strong
through the weakness of love;
turning upside down
the wisdom of the world:
may your blessing dwell
with the poor and hungry,
the grieving and abused;
may your peaceful revolution
be our joy and our reward
through Jesus Christ, the power of God.
Amen.
First Reading

Pastorals in the Atrium
by Sadiqa de Meijer

The tour has only started when
I’m ambushed by that flat-lined verdigris I’d know even
as a stumbling sleepwalker: landschap
with tin river, cleaver of sodden pastures —

 

marvelous for painters,
says the docent, was the enormity
of the sky, rarely cloudless, and she’s already
turning to an Italian hillscape when I say wait! this is

 

my bloodstream, as my finger makes brief
unintended contact with the canvas,
and then my voice an ambulance
I tell her there should be a diagram
to indicate the grazing motion,
how the grinding molars of the Holsteins
make the river go —

 

or else, self-portrait
in the glassing-over eye
of a stickleback caged in a jam jar,
left too long in the sun —

 

but now the river is across the room because
the docent has ushered me toward an upholstered bench
and is murmuring, sit, sit, I have here from the staff room
a coffee, here you are —

 

and I’m making the gesture for
no, those fields I ate and was made of
live in me, uncloseable
parentheses

 

 

Second Reading
Instructions to an Artisan

by Amit Majmudar

Into the rood wood, where the grain’s current splits
around the stones of its knots, carve eyelashes and eyelids.
Dye the knots, too—indigo, ink-black, vermillion
irises. These will be his eyes, always open, willing
themselves not to close when dust rises or sweat falls,
eyes witnessing, dimly, the eclipse that shawls
the shuddering hill, Jerusalem’s naked shoulder.
The body itself? From a wick that still whiffs of smolder,
wax, because wax sloughs a smooth skein on the fingers just
below sensation’s threshold. Prop the cross
upright and let the tear-hot wax trickle, slow, clot, taper
into a torso, thighs, calves, feet. Of Gideon Bible paper,
thinner than skin, cut him his scrap of cloth; embed
iron shavings in his forehead,
and, as the wax cools, scrape the rust off an old fuel can
to salt the whole wound that is the man.
Cry, if you feel like crying, and if no one else is there.
Then set it on the counter with your other wares.

800px-count-duke_of_olivares

Gospel Reading
Matthew 5:1-12


Now when Jesus saw the crowds, he went up a mountain. He sat down and his disciples came to him.
 He taught them, saying:

“Happy are people who are hopeless, because the kindom of heaven is theirs.

“Happy are people who grieve, because they will be made glad.

“Happy are people who are humble, because they will inherit the earth.

“Happy are people who are hungry and thirsty for righteousness, because they will be fed until they are full.

“Happy are people who show mercy, because they will receive mercy.

“Happy are people who have pure hearts, because they will see God.

“Happy are people who make peace, because they will be called God’s children.

“Happy are people whose lives are harassed because they are righteous, because the kindom of heaven is theirs.

“Happy are you when people insult you and harass you and speak all kinds of bad and false things about you, all because of me. Be full of joy and be glad, because you have a great reward in heaven. In the same way, people harassed the prophets who came before you.


Musical Reflection

Violently Happy by Björk

el_aguador_de_sevilla_por_diego_velazquez

 Prayer 

by Katherine Hawker

As we sit in the palm of your hand, loving God,
May we continue to see your strength revealed
In the vulnerability
The dying, the crying, the rising
Of your people.
May our seeing thus inspire our acting.
Amen.

 

The Lord’s Prayer

God, heart of the world:
revealed through every aspect of creation:
understood through our awareness.
May we honour the holiness of creation and act accordingly
so that your love is reflected in the way we live.
May we always be thankful for the food we eat
and the friends we have.
May we forgive those who transgress against us
and be forgiven for our own.
In the freedom of love may we live as your heartbeat
and not be compromised by hesitation.
Through our freedom,
may your justice be seen and heard and experienced
forever and ever. Amen.

 

Musical Reflection
Learn Me Right by Birdy

Blessing

Bless us, Lord, this day with vision.
May this place, wherever we are,
be a sacred place,
a telling place,
where heaven and earth meet.

And may the blessing of God – the Abba, the Messiah, and the Paraclete,
be with us and remain with us always. Amen.

diego_velazquez_016

Sources:

Artwork by Diego Velázquez

Invocation from Prayers for an Inclusive Church by Steven Shakespeare

Musical Reflection Pitter Patter Goes My Heart by Broken Social Scene

Poem Pastorals in the Atrium by Sadiqa de Meijer

Poem Instructions to an Artisan by Amit Majmudar

Musical Reflection Violently Happy by Björk

Prayer by Katherine Hawker

Lord’s Prayer by Sherri J Weinberg

Musical Reflection Learn Me Right by Birdy

Blessing from Celtic Daily Prayer, adapted

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