Easter Two, Year A

Musical Reflection
A Peace of Light by The Roots


Alpha and Omega,
our beginning and our end,
you break through the locks
of gated communities
and hardened hearts:
accept our doubts,
heal our desire for certainty
and, by your Spirit’s gentle touch,
make us a people
forgiven and forgiving;
through Jesus Christ, the Giver of Peace.
First Reading

Passing Desires
by John Mikhail Asfour

To pray again with the same delight
away from all doubts,
to give reason and faith equal worth
with no scorn or derision,

to live in a world
free of discord and acrimony
and to tell each other, “there’s no need
for war,
no need
for the logic of weapons.”
All we need is a dream of
poverty eradicated and crime

There would be no need for jails and all the judges
would have to retire
or turn their experiences into fiction.
Their heroes would be characters of the past,
their challenge
not to long for podiums
and the thrills of the courts.

Every tree, every blade of grass
every cloud
could live
and birds and animals migrate
back to their dwellings. The earth
would experience four seasons
and poems would not have to be rewritten.

Second Reading
by Ken Babstock

Awareness was intermittent. It sputtered.
And some of the time you were seen
asleep. So trying to appear whole
you asked of the morning: Is he free
who is not free from pain? It started to rain
a particulate alloy of flecked grey: the dogs
wanted out into their atlas of smells; to pee
where before they had peed, and might
well pee again – thought it isn’t
a certainty. What is? In the set,
called Phi, of all possible physical worlds
resembling this one, in which, at time t,
was written ‘Is he free who is not free – ‘
and comes the cramp. Do you want
to be singular, onstage, praised,
or blamed? I watched a field of sun-
flowers dial their ruddy faces toward
what they needed and was good. At noon
they were chalices upturned, gilt-edged,
and I lived in that same light but felt
alone. I chose to phone my brother,
over whom I worried, and say so.
He whispered, lacked affect. He’d lost
my record collection to looming debt. I
forgave him – through weak connections,
through buzz and oceanic crackle –
immediately, without choosing to,
because it was him I hadn’t lost; and
later cried myself to sleep. In that village
near Dijon, called Valley of Peace,
a pond reflected its dragonflies
over a black surface at night, and
the nuclear reactor’s far-off halo
of green light changed the night sky
to the west. A pony brayed, stamping
a hoof on inlaid stone. The river’s reeds
lovely, but unswimmable. World death
on the event horizon; vigils with candles
in cups. I’ve mostly replaced my records,
and acted in ways I can’t account for.
Cannot account for what you’re about
to do. We should be held and forgiven.
Gospel Reading
John 20:19-31

It was still the first day of the week. That evening, while the disciples were behind closed doors because they were afraid of the Religious authorities, Jesus came and stood among them. He said, “Peace be with you.” After he said this, he showed them his hands and his side. When the disciples saw the Lord, they were filled with joy. Jesus said to them again, “Peace be with you. As God sent me, so I am sending you.”Then he breathed on them and said, “Receive the Holy Spirit. If you forgive anyone’s sins, they are forgiven; if you don’t forgive them, they aren’t forgiven.”

Thomas, the one called Didymus, one of the Twelve, wasn’t with the disciples when Jesus came. The other disciples told him, “We’ve seen the Lord!”

But he replied, “Unless I see the nail marks in his hands, put my finger in the wounds left by the nails, and put my hand into his side, I won’t believe.”

After eight days, his disciples were again in a house and Thomas was with them. Even though the doors were locked, Jesus entered and stood among them. He said, “Peace be with you.” Then he said to Thomas, “Put your finger here. Look at my hands. Put your hand into my side. No more disbelief. Believe!”

Thomas responded to Jesus, “My Lord and my God!”

Jesus replied, “Do you believe because you see me? Happy are those who don’t see and yet believe.”

Then Jesus did many other miraculous signs in his disciples’ presence, signs that aren’t recorded in this scroll. But these things are written so that you will believe that Jesus is the Christ, God’s Child, and that believing, you will have life in his name.

Musical Reflection

(There’ll Be) Peace in the Valley (For Me) by Elvis Presley

by Keith Green, adapted

Oh Lord, you’re beautiful.
Your face is what we see.
For when your eyes are on us,
Your grace abounds to us.

Oh Lord, please light the fires
That once burned bright and clean.
Replace the lamp of our first loves
That burn with holy fear.

We want to take your word and shine it all around,
But first help us to just live it, Lord.
And when we’re doing well,
Help us to give glory to you.

The Lord’s Prayer

God in heaven,
Reveal who you are.
Set the world right; Do what’s best —
As above, so below.
Keep us alive.
Keep us forgiven with you and forgiving others.
You’re in charge!
You can do anything you want!
You’re ablaze in beauty!
Yes. Yes. Yes.


Musical Reflection
Peace Like a River by Paul Simon

The Stranger’s Blessing

The Sacred Three be blessing us,
our tables and their stores.
The Sacred Three be blessing
all our loved ones evermore.

May the blessing of God – the Author, the Messenger, and the Word,
be with us and remain with us always. Amen.


Artwork by Mattia Menchetti

Invocation from Prayers for an Inclusive Church by Steven Shakespeare

Musical Reflection A Peace of Light by The Roots

Poem Passing Desires by John Mikhail Asfour

Poem Compatibilist by Ken Babstock

Musical Reflection (There’ll Be) Peace in the Valley (For Me) by Elvis Presley

Prayer by Keith Green

Lord’s Prayer from the Message, adapted

Musical Reflection Peace Like a River by Paul Simon

Blessing from Celtic Daily Prayer

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