Pentecost +7, Year A

Musical Reflection
Harvest Moon by Neil Young



Divine reaper,
who alone can judge
without vengeance or fear:
free us from our desire to repay evil with evil;
root us in creation’s longing for freedom from oppression;
shape us by hope unseen for the victory of love;
through Jesus Christ,
with whom we suffer and are glorified.
First Reading

Drowning in Wheat
by John Kinsella

They’d been warned
on every farm
that playing
in the silos
would lead to death.
You sink in wheat.
Slowly. And the more
you struggle the worse it gets.
‘You’ll see a rat sail past
your face, nimble on its turf,
and then you’ll disappear.’
In there, hard work
has no reward.
So it became a kind of test
to see how far they could sink
without needing a rope
to help them out.
But in the midst of play
rituals miss a beat—like both
leaping in to resolve
an argument
as to who’d go first
and forgetting
to attach the rope.
Up to the waist
and afraid to move.
That even a call for help
would see the wheat
trickle down.
The painful consolidation
of time. The grains
in the hourglass
grotesquely swollen.
And that acrid
chemical smell
of treated wheat
coaxing them into
a near-dead sleep.

Second Reading
Long Live the Weeds

by Theodore Roethke

Long live the weeds that overwhelm
My narrow vegetable realm! –
The bitter rock, the barren soil
That force the son of man to toil;
All things unholy, marked by curse,
The ugly of the universe.
The rough, the wicked and the wild
That keep the spirit undefiled.
With these I match my little wit
And earn the right to stand or sit,
Hope, look, create, or drink and die:
These shape the creature that is I.


Gospel Reading
Matthew 13:24-43

Jesus told them another parable: “The kindom of heaven is like someone who planted good seed in their field. While people were sleeping, an enemy came and planted weeds among the wheat and went away. When the stalks sprouted and bore grain, then the weeds also appeared.

“The servants of the landowner came and said, ‘Didn’t you plant good seed in your field? Then how is it that it has weeds?’

“‘An enemy has done this,’ the landowner answered.

“The servants said, ‘Do you want us to go and gather them?’

“But the landowner said, ‘No, because if you gather the weeds, you’ll pull up the wheat along with them. Let both grow side by side until the harvest. And at harvesttime I’ll say to the harvesters, “First gather the weeds and tie them together in bundles to be burned. But bring the wheat into my barn.” ’”

He told another parable to them: “The kindom of heaven is like a mustard seed that someone took and planted in a field. It’s the smallest of all seeds. But when it’s grown, it’s the largest of all vegetable plants. It becomes a tree so that the birds in the sky come and nest in its branches.”

He told them another parable: “The kindom of heaven is like yeast, which a woman took and hid in a bushel of wheat flour until the yeast had worked its way through all the dough.”

Jesus said all these things to the crowds in parables, and he spoke to them only in parables. This was to fulfill what the prophet spoke:

I’ll speak in parables; 
        I’ll declare what has been hidden since the beginning of the world.

Jesus left the crowds and went into the house. His disciples came to him and said, “Explain to us the parable of the weeds in the field.”

Jesus replied, “The one who plants the good seed is the Human One. The field is the world. And the good seeds are the followers of the kindom. But the weeds are the followers of the evil one. The enemy who planted them is the devil. The harvest is the end of the present age. The harvesters are the angels. Just as people gather weeds and burn them in the fire, so it will be at the end of the present age. The Human One will send angels, and they will gather out of the kindom all things that cause people to fall away and all people who sin. They will be thrown into a burning furnace. People there will be weeping and grinding their teeth. Then the righteous will shine like the sun in Abba God’s kindom. Those who have ears should hear.”

Musical Reflection
Enemy by The Kissaway Trail

A Litany of Contradictory Things Prayer
by Michael Moynahan

Wheat and weeds:
let them grow together.

Religious leaders who lay and lighten burdens:
let them grow together.

People of God who wound and heal:
let them grow together.

Rich and poor, humble and haughty:
let them grow together.

Those whose thinking is similar and contrary:
let them grow together.

Days of sparseness and days of plenty:
let them grow together.

All the seasons of one’s life:
let them grow together.

Doubt and faith:
let them grow together.

Contemplation and action:
let them grow together.

Wisdom of the East and West:
let them grow together.

All the contrarieties of the Lord:
let them grow together.


The Lord’s Prayer

Loving God, within and around us, we revere you.
We seek to live life as you would want us to do;
with love and respect for all people
and all things in the universe.
May we find each day sufficient for our needs,
and find forgiveness when we do wrong,
just as we forgive those who do wrong to us.
In times of trouble, may we centre our lives in you.
For your being is love,
which comes with strength and with beauty,
throughout eternity. Amen.


Musical Reflection
Things Behind the Barn by Andrew Bird


Saranam (Refuge) Blessing

Great Creator,
Receive our thanks for night and day,
for food and shelter, rest and play.
Be here our guest and with us stay,
saranam, saranam, saranam.

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



Artwork by Dawid Planeta

Invocation from Prayers for an Inclusive Church by Steven Shakespeare

Musical Reflection Harvest Moon by Neil Young

Poem Drowning in Wheat by John Kinsella

Poem Long Live the Weeds by Theodore Roethke

Musical Reflection Enemy by The Kissaway Trail

Prayer by Michael Moynahan

Lord’s Prayer by Margaret Rolfe

Musical Reflection Things Behind the Barn by Andrew Bird

Blessing from Celtic Daily Prayer

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