Pentecost +5, Year A

Musical Reflection
Eat, Drink and Be Merry by Porter Wagoner


Invocation

God of heaven and earth,
whose Only Begotten came eating and drinking,
exposing the rivalry
that tears the world apart:
may we share the feast of friendship
and lay our burdens
into Christ’s liberating arms;
through Jesus Christ,
Wisdom’s child.
Amen.
First Reading

The Party
by Jason Shinder

And that’s how it is; everyone standing up from the big silence

of the table with their glasses of certainty and plates of forgiveness
and walking into the purple kitchen; everyone leaning away from the gas stove

Marie blows on at the very edge of the breaking blue-orange-lunging-

forward flames to warm another pot of coffee, while the dishes pile up in the sink,
perfect as a pyramid. Aaah, says Donna, closing her eyes,

and leaning on Nick’s shoulders as he drives the soft blade of the knife

through the glittering dark of the leftover chocolate birthday cake.
That’s it; that’s how it is; everyone standing around as if just out of the pool,

drying off, standing around, that’s it, standing, talking,

shuffling back and forth on the deck of the present
before the boat slowly pulls away into the future. Because it hurts

to say goodbye, to pull your body out of the warm water;

to step out of the pocket of safety, clinging to what you knew,
or what you thought you knew about yourself and others.

That’s how it is, that’s it, throwing your jacket over your shoulders

like a towel and saying goodbye Victoria goodbye Sophie goodbye
Lili goodbye sweetie take care be well hang in there see you soon.

Second Reading
Eating Together

by Kim Addonizio

I know my friend is going,
though she still sits there
across from me in the restaurant,
and leans over the table to dip
her bread in the oil on my plate; I know
how thick her hair used to be,
and what it takes for her to discard
her man’s cap partway through our meal,
to look straight at the young waiter
and smile when he asks
how we are liking it. She eats
as though starving—chicken, dolmata,
the buttery flakes of filo—
and what’s killing her
eats, too. I watch her lift
a glistening black olive and peel
the meat from the pit, watch
her fine long fingers, and her face,
puffy from medication. She lowers
her eyes to the food, pretending
not to know what I know. She’s going.
And we go on eating.

 

 
Gospel Reading
Matthew 11:16-30
 

“To what will I compare this generation? It is like a child sitting in the marketplaces calling out to others, ‘We played the flute for you and you didn’t dance. We sang a funeral song and you didn’t mourn.’ For John came neither eating nor drinking, and they say, ‘He has a demon.’ Yet the Chosen One came eating and drinking, and they say, ‘Look, a glutton and a drunk, a friend of tax collectors and sinners.’ But wisdom is proved to be right by her works.”

Then he began to scold the cities where he had done his greatest miracles because they didn’t change their hearts and lives. “How terrible it will be for you, Chorazin! How terrible it will be for you, Bethsaida! For if the miracles done among you had been done in Tyre and Sidon, they would have changed their hearts and lives and put on funeral clothes and ashes a long time ago. But I say to you that Tyre and Sidon will be better off on Judgment Day than you. And you, Capernaum, will you be honored by being raised up to heaven? No, you will be thrown down to the place of the dead. After all, if the miracles that were done among you had been done in Sodom, it would still be here today. But I say to you that it will be better for the land of Sodom on the Judgment Day than it will be for you.”

At that time Jesus said, “I praise you, Abba God, Creator of heaven and earth, because you’ve hidden these things from the wise and intelligent and have shown them to babies. Indeed, Abba, this brings you happiness.

“Abba God has handed all things over to me. No one knows the Only Begotten except Abba God. And nobody knows Abba God except the Only Begotten and anyone to whom the Only Begotten wants to give that revelation.

“Come to me, all you who are struggling hard and carrying heavy loads, and I will give you rest. Put on my yoke, and learn from me. I’m gentle and humble. And you will find rest for yourselves. My yoke is easy to bear, and my burden is light.”

 

Musical Reflection
Drunkard’s Prayer by Over the Rhine

Prayer
by Ludwig van Beethoven, adapted

One thing we ask of you, our God,
not to cease to work in our improvement.
Let us tend towards you,
and be fruitful in good works,
for the sake of Jesus Christ.
Amen.

The Lord’s Prayer

Our mother,
which art the earth,
Nurturing are thy ways.
Thy web of life be woven
Thy way be found within,
As it is all around.
Thank you this day for our daily bread and sweat
And forgive us our misuse of you,
As we forgive others their misuse of us.
And lead us not into exploitation,
But deliver us
From lording it over you,
And over each other,
And over all our other fellow creatures.
For thine are the waters of life,
The hills, valleys and plains of home,
The breeding, seeding, feeding ground,
For now, and for as close to forever
As we will ever come. Ah, woman!

 

Musical Reflection
Cheers (Drink to That) by Rihanna

 


Blessing

The compassing of God be upon us,
the compassing of the God of life.

The compassing of Christ be upon us,
the compassing of the Christ of love.

The compassing of the Spirit be upon us,
the compassing of the Spirit of grace.

The compassing of the Sacred be upon us,
the compassing of the Sacred protect us,
the compassing of the Sacred preserve us.

And may the blessing of God – the Grace, the Love, and the Life,
be with us and remain with us always. Amen.

 

Sources:

Artwork by Marco Fusinato

Invocation from Prayers for an Inclusive Church by Steven Shakespeare

Musical Reflection Eat, Drink and Be Merry by Porter Wagoner

Poem The Party by Jason Shinder

Poem Eating Together by Kim Addonizio

Musical Reflection Drunkard’s Prayer by Over the Rhine

Prayer by Ludwig Van Beethoven

Lord’s Prayer from Karen Loveland and Minnesota Women’s Press

Musical Reflection Cheers (Drink to That) by Rihanna

Blessing from Celtic Daily Prayer

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