Fifth after Epiphany, Year A

Musical Reflection
Salt of the Sea by Hope Sandoval and the Warm Inventions

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Invocation

Israel’s jealous God,
giver of love’s law,
in whom there is no blandness,
no dullness of oppression;
liberate us
from all that numbs compassion
to find in your commands
light undimmed
and flavour unrestrained;
through Jesus Christ, fulfiller of the law.
Amen.
First Reading
Cathedral of Salt
by Nick Flynn
Beneath all this I’m carving a cathedral
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  …

Neither you
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.

 

Second Reading
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.

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Gospel Reading
Matthew 5:13-20

“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.

 


Musical Reflection

Lights by Sohn

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 Prayer 

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,
of peace.
Enlighten us, salt from salt,
bread of life
cup of your delight.
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
Natural Law by Frazey Ford

 

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.

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Sources:

Artwork by Emilio Ambasz

Invocation from Prayers for an Inclusive Church by Steven Shakespeare

Musical Reflection Salt of the Sea by Hope Sandoval and the Warm Inventions

Poem Cathedral of Salt by Nick Flynn

Poem A Poem for the Epiphany by Pablo Medina

Musical Reflection Lights by Sohn

Prayer by Terri C Pilarski

Lord’s Prayer by Sherri J Weinberg

Musical Reflection Natural Law by Frazey Ford

Blessing from Celtic Daily Prayer, adapted

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