Lent One, Year A

Musical Reflection
Language is a Virus by Laurie Anderson



Spirit of the desert,
you drove Jesus
to the edge of the world
to find his truth and calling:
scour our hearts
and awaken our hunger
that freed from empty clinging
we might find ourselves in you;
through Jesus Christ, the Lord of the wilds.
First Reading

Animal Languages
by Chase Twitchell

In snow, all tracks
–animal and human–
speak to one another,

a long conversation that keeps breaking off
then starting up again.

I want to read those pages
instead of the kind
made of human words.

I want to write in the language of those
who have been to that place before me.

Second Reading
The Thing Written
by Stanley Moss

The thing written is a sexual thing,
may bite, tell a truth some have died for,
even the most casual initialing
is a touch of love and what love goes for.
A sometime thing, it smiles or has an ugly grin,
on the page or wall may be holy and a sin.
Writing wants, must have, must know,
is flesh, blood, and bone,
proof we are not made to be alone.
Beneath a dove and rainbow
some bank their fire,
wrap their erogenous zones in barbed wire.

Writing may dance in ink flamenco,

kneel before the cross, right
wrongs, fall in love at first sight,
honor the naked languages it holds tight,
kidnap, suck or be sucked for hire,
may look and look or sneak a look,
it has eyes, can read, is remarkable.
From the tower of sexual babble,
when dreams were the beginning of writing,
the angel of dreams descended, stair by stair,
the stone watchtower became the first stone book.

Writing never speaks word, may ache to talk,

and yet each letter of any alphabet
is a fragment of desire,
like half and quarter notes on a staff, or a hawk,
may swoop down, fly higher and higher
to catch a word, and then another word.
The sexual thing may be all love or malice,
eunuchs writing in the Forbidden Palace
where poets dressed in rags, or silk and lace.
The thing written touches, kisses, cuddles,

may be democratic, autocratic, medieval

in the 21st century, feudal, imperial, animal,
sexually digital, a Serf, a King, a Queen,
la chose écrite est une chose sexuelle.
I had a woman beautiful as the letter   l.
There is the passion of letters, each may mean
another thing, be defaced, after a while.
Writing leans forward,
there is a certain optimism in the written word,
a sexual sunrise that is not daybreak.
Words, words, a carnival of wordplay
on St. Nobody’s Day.
Reader, look, there is an S, a snake
on the cross of the letter T.
The letter of love is still the open-legged V.
How can I dot the i with humanity?



Gospel Reading
Matthew 4:1-11

Then the Spirit led Jesus up into the wilderness so that the devil might tempt him. After Jesus had fasted for forty days and forty nights, he was starving. The tempter came to him and said, “Since you are God’s Child, command these stones to become bread.”

Jesus replied, “It’s written, People won’t live only by bread, but by every word spoken by God.”

After that the devil brought him into the holy city and stood him at the highest point of the temple. The tempter said to him, “Since you are God’s Child, throw yourself down; for it is written, I will command my angels concerning you, and they will take you up in their hands so that you won’t hit your foot on a stone.

Jesus replied, “Again it’s written, Don’t test the Lord your God.”

Then the devil brought him to a very high mountain and showed him all the realms of the world and their glory. The tempter said, “I’ll give you all these if you bow down and worship me.”

Jesus responded, “Go away, Satan, because it’s written, You will worship the Lord your God and serve only God.” The devil left him, and angels came and took care of him.

Musical Reflection

What He Wrote by Laura Marling



by Søren Kierkegaard, adapted

Creator! You have loved us first,
help us never to forget that
You are love so that this sure conviction
might triumph in our hearts
over the seduction of the world,
over the inquietude of the soul,
over the anxiety for the future,
over the fright of the past,
over the distress of the moment.

But grant also that this conviction
might help our souls
so that our hearts might remain faithful
and sincere in the love
which we bear to all
those whom You have commanded us
to love as we love ourselves.

The Lord’s Prayer

O presence and pow’r within us,
Being and Life of all.
How we are filled, how we o’erflow
with infinite love and gladness!
We shall this day sow grace and peace,
and show mercy to all,
and gentle loving-kindness.
And we shall be not so self-serving,
but a constant source of giving.
For ours is the essence,
and the wholeness,
and the fullness forever.


Musical Reflection
Language by Suzanne Vega

Brigid’s Blessing

God bless our food;
God bless our drink.
And keep our homes
and ourselves
in Your embrace,
O God.

And may the blessing of God – God above us, God beside us, and God beneath us,
be with us and remain with us always. Amen.



Artwork by Tom Phillips

Invocation from Prayers for an Inclusive Church by Steven Shakespeare

Musical Reflection Language is a Virus by Laurie Anderson

Poem Animal Languages by Chase Twichell

Poem The Thing Written by Stanley Moss

Musical Reflection What He Wrote by Laura Marling

Prayer by Søren Kierkegaard

Lord’s Prayer by Paul Alan Laughlin

Musical Reflection Language by Suzanne Vega

Blessing from Celtic Daily Prayer

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