Pentecost +14, Year A

Musical Reflection
Lisa Listen by Lisa Loeb & Nine Stories


Lord of the Church,
you call all people
around your table:
in times of disagreement
teach us to listen,
loose us from prejudice
and bind us to your way
of grace-filled justice;
through Jesus Christ,
who stands in the midst of our gatherings.
First Reading

Listen. Put on Morning
by WS Graham

Listen. Put on morning.
Waken into falling light.
A man’s imagining
Suddenly may inherit
The handclapping centuries
Of his one minute on earth.
And hear the virgin juries
Talk with his own breath
To the corner boys of his street.
And hear the Black Maria
Searching the town at night.
And hear the playropes caa
The sister Mary in.
And hear Willie and Davie
Among bracken of Narnain
Sing in a mist heavy
With myrtle and listeners.
And hear the higher town
Weep a petition of fears
At the poorhouse close upon
The public heartbeat.
And hear the children tig
And run with my own feet
Into the netting drag
Of a suiciding principle.
Listen. Put on lightbreak.
Waken into miracle.
The audience lies awake
Under the tenements
Under the sugar docks
Under the printed moments.
The centuries turn their locks
And open under the hill
Their inherited books and doors
All gathered to distil
Like happy berry pickers
One voice to talk to us.
Yes listen. It carries away
The second and the years
Till the heart’s in a jacket of snow
And the head’s in a helmet white
And the song sleeps to be wakened
By the morning ear bright.
Listen. Put on morning.
Waken into falling light.

Second Reading
Late Night in Bed

by Gregory Djanikian

My wife tells me she hears a beetle
Scurrying across the kitchen floor.
She says our daughter is dreaming

Too loudly, just listen, her eyelids
Are fluttering like butterflies.

What about the thunder, I say,
What about the dispatches from the police car
Parked outside, or me rolling over like a whale?

She tells me there’s a leaf falling
And grazing the downstairs window,
Or it could be glass cutters, diamonds,
Thieves working their hands toward the latch.
She tells me our son is breathing too quickly,
Is it pneumonia, is it the furnace
Suddenly pumping monoxides through the house?

So when my wife says sleep, she means
A closing of the eyes, a tuning
Of the ears to ultra frequencies.

(It is what always happens
When there are children, the bed
Becoming at night a listening post,
Each little ting forewarning disaster.)

Downstairs there is the sound
Of something brushing against something else
And I try to listen as my wife might listen,
Insects, I say, dust on a table top,
Maybe a knife’s edge against the palm.

But she tells me it’s only
The African violet on the windowsill
Putting out another flower,
And falls luxuriously into a dream
Of being awake and vigilant.

So the house grows noisier,
There are clicks in the woodwork,
There are drips, raps, clunks, things
To make sense of, make benign.

My son and daughter are sleeping calmly,
And the stairs, yes, are creaking,
The wind, I think, or maybe two men,
Where’s the beaker of acid,
The bowling ball, the war hoop
I learned in second grade?

So this is what it’s like when there’s
No one left but you to love and defend.

Outside there are cats in a fight
And they remind me too much of babies crying.
Then the bottle thrown against the stoop,
The sound of something delicate shattered.

My wife stirs, Be glad, she says,
Sound doesn’t carry far, that you don’t hear
The whole of it, cries in the night,
Children in other cities, hurts, silences.

And she’s right, I can’t hear the whole of it,
Or else I hear too much and it’s noise
Or I make it noise because it’s too much.

So I begin homing in on something
Around me, something distinct, my wife’s
Breathing, a window’s rattle. Outside,
Grass is lengthening in the dark,
And sap running up the phloem of the maple,
(Do I hear it? And how the stars must be wheeling!)
And in the far room, my children’s
Hearts are keeping time, for them, for us
Who have begun to listen in earnest.

Gospel Reading
Matthew 18:15-20

“If your sibling sins against you, go and correct them when you are alone together. If they listen to you, then you’ve won over your sibling. But if they won’t listen, take with you one or two others so that every word may be established by the mouth of two or three witnesses. But if they still won’t pay attention, report it to the church. If they won’t pay attention even to the church, treat them as you would a Gentile and tax collector. I assure you that whatever you fasten on earth will be fastened in heaven. And whatever you loosen on earth will be loosened in heaven. Again I assure you that if two of you agree on earth about anything you ask, then Abba God who is in heaven will do it for you. For where two or three are gathered in my name, I’m there with them.”

Musical Reflection
Listen to Bach (The Earth) by Edward Artemiev

Listening Prayer
by John Veltri, adapted

Teach us to listen, O God, to those nearest us– our family, our friends, our co-workers.

Teach us to listen, our caring God, to those far from us– the whisper of the hopeless, the plea of the forgotten, the cry of the anguished.

Teach us to listen, O God our Mother, to our selves. Help us to be less afraid to trust the voice inside — in the deepest part of us.

Teach us to listen, Holy Spirit, for your voice — in busyness and in boredom, in certainty and doubt, in noise and in silence.

Teach us, Lord, to listen.  Amen.

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
Listen Now by The Knife

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 Sonia Delaunay

Invocation from Prayers for an Inclusive Church by Steven Shakespeare

Musical Reflection Lisa Listen by Lisa Loeb & Nine Stories

Poem Listen. Put on Morning by WS Graham

Poem Late Night in Bed by Gregory Djanikian

Musical Reflection Listen to Bach (The Earth) by Edward Artemiev

Prayer by John Veltri

Lord’s Prayer by Margaret Rolfe

Musical Reflection Listen Now by The Knife

Blessing from Celtic Daily Prayer

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