Eighth after Epiphany, Year A

Musical Reflection
Don’t Worry Be Happy by Bobby McFerrin



God revealed
in winged delight
and glory of earth:
give us grace to respect
the creatures with whom we share the earth
and to learn from living things
the end of anxious striving;
through Jesus Christ, through whom all things have life.
First Reading

by Sam Sax

is a woman
burying bread

beneath her lawn.
praying for summer

to make whole loaves
break in their plastic

shells through dirt
like so many hands.

worry is how i thumb
a groove in the stolen

jewel case in my back
pocket at tower

records, the man
puts his hands

on me & i’m cooked,
i’m crooked, red

handed, red thumbed.
had enough money

in my pocket
for music

& who really needs
that bad? all my father’s

overtime stocked
in our pantry.

all my mother’s
edges worried

smooth below
the river of her

boss’s hands.
who am i

who steals music
who sells drugs

because i love
how it sounds.

who sold my own
good mouth

for gold. a man
puts his hands

on me &
i’m his & i’m paid.

in the old country
women buried

what little we had
in the dirt & hoped

it would make more
better on earth.

in this country
all food is unzipped

from its plastic
& passes clean through us.

my grandmother’s
panic is a relic, is bread

unearthed from
some forgotten dust

bowl still dark
& moldy & whole.

why not eat the hand
that feeds you, i think,

why not eat the arm,
the elbow,

the shoulder? why
not eat the whole

damned body alive

Second Reading
No Worry
by Cole Swensen

No, worry about nothing
but the chiseling
of hills into distance
in the slight hazeand sleep lost over color
no two ever the samethe wringing hands
float ashore amazed.
Worry about beauty.
It can sell you anything.
Lakes collect in the
chambers of the heart
where the sailboats are made
of flying fish about
the size of match heads.Sleep can be lost as
easily as a house key,
the shock can consume
at any moment
if the hills are not rising
weather is wearing them down
and you are driving
north in the late afternoon
or holding your eyes
in your hands like addresses.


Gospel Reading
Matthew 6:24-34

“No one can serve two masters. Either you will hate the one and love the other, or you will be loyal to the one and have contempt for the other. You cannot serve God and wealth.”

“Therefore, I say to you, don’t worry about your life, what you’ll eat or what you’ll drink, or about your body, what you’ll wear. Isn’t life more than food and the body more than clothes? Look at the birds in the sky. They don’t sow seed or harvest grain or gather crops into barns. Yet Abba God feeds them. Aren’t you worth much more than they are? Who among you by worrying can add a single moment to your life? And why do you worry about clothes? Notice how the lilies in the field grow. They don’t wear themselves out with work, and they don’t spin cloth. But I say to you that even Solomon in all of his splendor wasn’t dressed like one of these. If God dresses grass in the field so beautifully, even though it’s alive today and tomorrow it’s thrown into the furnace, won’t God do much more for you, you people of weak faith? Therefore, don’t worry and say, ‘What are we going to eat?’ or ‘What are we going to drink?’ or ‘What are we going to wear?’ Gentiles long for all these things. Abba God knows that you need them. Instead, desire first and foremost God’s kindom and God’s righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore, stop worrying about tomorrow, because tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.”


Musical Reflection

Don’t Worry About a Thing by Bob Marley



by Rev Susan A Blain

Holy Midwife,
on you we have leaned since our birth,
since you first drew us forth from our mothers’ wombs.
All our lives you are with us,
calling us forth into fields of
ever more light, insight and possibility.
Meet us here today and hold us in your life-giving hands;
be for us our rock, our hope, our trust, our challenge.
In Jesus’s name we pray, Amen.

The Lord’s Prayer

Blessed One, our Father and our Mother, our Parent,
Holy is your name.
May your love be enacted in the world.
May your will be done
On earth as in heaven.
Give us today our daily bread
And forgive us our sins as we forgive those who sin against us.
Save us in the time of trial
and deliver us from evil.
For all that we do in your love,
and all that your love brings to birth,
and the fullness of love that will be
are yours, now and forever. Amen.


Musical Reflection
Don’t Worry Baby by The Beach Boys



May we drink deeply
from God’s cup of joy.
May the night bring us quiet.
And when we come
to God’s palace
may the door be open
and the welcome warm.

And may the blessing of God – the Creator, the Spirit, and the Word,
be with us and remain with us always. Amen.



Artwork by Emma Lindström

Invocation from Prayers for an Inclusive Church by Steven Shakespeare

Musical Reflection Don’t Worry Be Happy by Bobby McFerrin

Poem Worry by Sam Sax

Poem No Worry by Cole Swensen

Musical Reflection Don’t Worry About a Thing by Bob Marley

Prayer by Rev Susan A Blain

Lord’s Prayer by Richard McCall

Musical Reflection Don’t Worry Baby by The Beach Boys

Blessing from Celtic Daily Prayer, adapted

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