Salt of the Sea by Hope Sandoval and the Warm Inventions
giver of love’s law,
in whom there is no blandness,
no dullness of oppression;
from all that numbs compassion
to find in your commands
and flavour unrestrained;
Cathedral of Salt
by Nick Flynn
of salt. I keep
the entrance hidden, no one seems to notice
the hours I’m missing … I’ll
bring you one night, it’s where
I go when I
hang up the phone …
nor your soul is waiting for me at
the end of this, I know that, the salt
nearly clear after I
chisel out the pews, the see-through
altar, the opaque
panes of glass that depict the stations of
our cross — Here is the day
we met, here is the day we remember we
met … The air down here
will kill us, some say, some wear paper
masks, some still imagine the air above the green
trees, thick with bees
building solitary nests out of petals. What’s
the name for this? Ineffable? The endless
white will blind you, some say,
but what is there to see we haven’t already
seen? Some say it’s
like poking a stick into a river — you might as well
simply write about the stick.
Or the river.
A Poem for the Epiphany
by Pablo Medina
It snows because the door to heaven is open,
because God is tired of working
and the day needs to be left alone.
It snows because there is a widow hiding
under her mother’s bed,
because the birds are resting their throats
and three wise men are offering gifts.
Because the clouds are singing
and trees have a right to exist,
because the horses of the past are returning.
They are grey and trot gently into the barn
never touching the ground.
It snows because the wind wants
to be water, because water
wants to be powder and powder wants
to seduce the eye. Because once in his life
the philosopher has to admit
to the poverty of thought.
Because the rich man cannot buy snow
and the poor man has to wear it on his eyebrows.
Because it makes the old dog think
his life has just begun. He runs
back and forth across the parking lot.
He rolls on the snow. He laps it up.
It snows because light and dark
are making love in a field where old age
has no meaning, where colors blur,
silence covers sound, sleep covers sorrow,
everything is death, everything is joy.
“You are the salt of the earth. But if salt loses its saltiness, how will it become salty again? It’s good for nothing except to be thrown away and trampled under people’s feet. You are the light of the world. A city on top of a hill can’t be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a basket. Instead, they put it on top of a lampstand, and it shines on all who are in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before people, so they can see the good things you do and praise Abba God who is in heaven.
“Don’t even begin to think that I have come to do away with the Law and the Prophets. I haven’t come to do away with them but to fulfill them. I say to you very seriously that as long as heaven and earth exist, neither the smallest letter nor even the smallest stroke of a pen will be erased from the Law until everything there becomes a reality. Therefore, whoever ignores one of the least of these commands and teaches others to do the same will be called the lowest in the realm of heaven. But whoever keeps these commands and teaches people to keep them will be called great in the realm of heaven. I say to you that unless your righteousness is greater than the righteousness of the legal experts and the Pharisees, you will never enter the realm of heaven.
Lights by Sohn
by Terri C Pilarski, adapted
God of righteousness, enfold the suffering
in clouds of mercy.
Reach into the tragedies of this earth,
the chaos and despair.
Help us be Salt, enhancing your love
your compassion in all creation.
Merciful God, be with us all, this day,
the sick and the dying, the worn, and fearful
and all who suffer.
A fountain of mercy pouring forth,
You who lift us up, known before birth,
by the Spirit of God,
Salt of the Earth,
Light to the world.
Gracious and Holy One, we give thanks
For all the blessings of this life
Miracles of grace
Of birth, of air, and water
Of food, song, and prayer,
Enlighten us, salt from salt,
bread of life
cup of your delight.
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.
Natural Law by Frazey Ford
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.