I Need Thee Every Hour by The Innocence Mission
whose wild Spirit’s breath
defies our frozen idols:
take the night time of our fear
and make it a welcoming womb
for us and all the world;
Friend of Moses,
strength of Elijah,
you go with your people
and give them your Spirit:
may the Child of your heart
transfigure the mortal world
that love may know no bounds;
A Sketch for a Modern Love Poem
by Tadeusz Rosewicz
translated by Czeslaw Milosz
And yet whiteness
can be best described by greyness
a bird by a stone
love poems of old
used to be descriptions of flesh
they described this and that
for instance eyelashes
and yet redness
should be described
by greyness the sun by rain
the poppies in november
the lips at night
the most palpable
description of bread
is that of hunger
there is in it
a humid porous core
a warm inside
sunflowers at night
the breasts the belly the thighs of Cybele
of water is that of thirst
it provokes a mirage
clouds and trees enter
a mirror of water
is a description of love
in a modern love poem
by Raymond Carver
And did you get what
you wanted from this life, even so?
And what did you want?
To call myself beloved, to feel myself
beloved on the earth.
There was a Pharisee named Nicodemus, a Jewish leader. He came to Jesus at night and said to him, “Rabbi, we know that you are a teacher who has come from God, for no one could do these miraculous signs that you do unless God is with them.”
Jesus answered, “I assure you, unless someone is born anew, it’s not possible to see God’s realm.”
Nicodemus asked, “How is it possible for an adult to be born? It’s impossible to enter the mother’s womb for a second time and be born, isn’t it?”
Jesus answered, “I assure you, unless someone is born of water and the Spirit, it’s not possible to enter God’s realm. Whatever is born of the flesh is flesh, and whatever is born of the Spirit is spirit. Don’t be surprised that I said to you, ‘You must be born anew.’ God’s Spirit blows wherever she wishes. You hear her sound, but you don’t know where she comes from or where she is going. It’s the same with everyone who is born of the Spirit.”
Nicodemus said, “How are these things possible?”
“Jesus answered, “You are a teacher of Israel and you don’t know these things? I assure you that we speak about what we know and testify about what we have seen, but you don’t receive our testimony. If I have told you about earthly things and you don’t believe, how will you believe if I tell you about heavenly things? No one has gone up to heaven except the one who came down from heaven, the Human One. Just as Moses lifted up the snake in the wilderness, so must the Human One be lifted up so that everyone who believes in him will have eternal life. God so loved the world as to give the Only Begotten One, that whoever believes may not die, but have eternal life. God sent the Only Begotten into the world not to condemn the world, but that through the Only Begotten the world might be saved.
Six days later Jesus took Peter, James, and John his brother, and brought them to the top of a very high mountain. He was transformed in front of them. His face shone like the sun, and his clothes became as white as light.
Moses and Elijah appeared to them, talking with Jesus. Peter reacted to all of this by saying to Jesus, “Lord, it’s good that we’re here. If you want, I’ll make three shrines: one for you, one for Moses, and one for Elijah.”
While he was still speaking, look, a bright cloud overshadowed them. A voice from the cloud said, “This is my Child whom I dearly love. I am very pleased with him. Listen to him!” Hearing this, the disciples fell on their faces, filled with awe.
But Jesus came and touched them. “Get up,” he said. “Don’t be afraid.” When they looked up, they saw no one except Jesus.
As they were coming down the mountain, Jesus commanded them, “Don’t tell anybody about the vision until the Human One is raised from the dead.”
Precious Lord Take My Hand by Mavis Staples
from the Anglican Church’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada
Holy One, Creator of all that is, seen and unseen,
of story and of song, of heartbeat and of tears
of bodies, souls, voices and all relations:
you are the God of all truth and the way of all
Uphold with your love and compassion all who open their lives
in the sacred sharing of their stories
breathe in us the grace to trust in your loving forgiveness,
that we may face our histories with courage;
touch us through the holy gift of story
that those who speak and those who listen may
behold your own redeeming presence;
guide us with holy wisdom to enter through the gates of remorse
that our feet may walk gently and firmly on the way of justice
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.
Lord Let It Rain on Me by Spiritualized
God bless our food;
God bless our drink.
And keep our homes
in Your embrace,
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.