Pentecost +15, Year A

Musical Reflection
Praying by Kesha


Invocation

God of debts forgiven,
you call to account
our hunger for power;
you disturb hierarchies
which crush the weak:
break the vicious cycles
of revenge and domination
that we might look to the One
whose mercy never ends,
Jesus Christ, our redeemer.
Amen.
First Reading

The Poet Asks Forgiveness
by Fay Zwicky

Dead to the world I have failed you
Forgive me, traveller.Thirsty, I was no fountain
Hungry, I was not bread
Tired, I was no pillowForgive my unwritten poems:
the many I have frozen with irony
the many I have trampled with anger
the many I have rejected in self-defence
the many I have ignored in fear

unaware, blind or fearful
I ignored them.
They clamoured everywhere
those unwritten poems.
They sought me out day and night
and I turned them away.

Forgive me the colours
they might have worn
Forgive me their eclipsed faces
They dared not venture from
the unwritten lines.

Under each inert hour of my silence
died a poem, unheeded

Second Reading
I cry your mercy—pity—love!—aye, love!

by John Keats

I cry your mercy—pity—love!—aye, love!
Merciful love that tantalizes not,
One-thoughted, never-wandering, guileless love,
Unmasked, and being seen—without a blot!
O! let me have thee whole,—all—all—be mine!
That shape, that fairness, that sweet minor zest
Of love, your kiss,—those hands, those eyes divine,
That warm, white, lucent, million-pleasured breast,
Yourself—your soul—in pity give me all,
Withhold no atom’s atom or I die
Or living on perhaps, your wretched thrall,
Forget, in the mist of idle misery,
Life’s purposes,—the palate of my mind
Losing its gust, and my ambition blind!
 
Gospel Reading
Matthew 18:21-35
 

Then Peter said to Jesus, “Lord, how many times should I forgive my sibling who sins against me? Should I forgive as many as seven times?”

Jesus said, “Not just seven times, but rather as many as seventy-seven times. Therefore, the kindom of heaven is like a ruler who wanted to settle accounts with the royal officials. When the audit was begun, an official was brought in who owed ten thousand bags of gold. Because the debtor didn’t have enough to pay it back, the ruler ordered this official to be sold, along with their family and property, and that the proceeds should be used as payment. But the official kneeled down in homage, and said, ‘Please, be patient with me, and I’ll pay you back.’ The ruler had compassion on that official, released them, and forgave the loan.

“Then that same official went out and met a colleague who owed the official one hundred coins. The official seized and throttled the debtor with the command, ‘Pay back what you owe me!’

“Then the colleague fell down and begged, ‘Be patient with me, and I’ll pay you back.’ But the official refused, and instead had the colleague thrown in debtor’s prison until the money was paid.

“When the other officials saw what happened, they were deeply offended. They came and told their ruler all that happened. The ruler called the first official and said, ‘You worthless wretch! I forgave you all that debt because you appealed to me. Shouldn’t you also have mercy on your colleague, just as I had mercy on you?’ The ruler was furious and handed the official over to the guard responsible for punishing prisoners, until the whole debt had been paid.

“My Abba in heaven will also do the same to you if you don’t forgive your siblings from your heart.”

Musical Reflection
Sinner’s Prayer by Lady Gaga

Prayer
by Gregory Petrov

God,
No one can put together what has crumbled into dust,
but you can restore a conscience turned to ashes;
you can restore to its former beauty a soul lost and without hope.
With you there is nothing that cannot be redeemed;
you are love, you are Creator and Redeemer;
we praise you singing: Alleluia.
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
By the Grace of God by Katy Perry


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.

Sources:

Artwork by Kalegiro

Invocation from Prayers for an Inclusive Church by Steven Shakespeare

Musical Reflection Praying by Kesha

Poem The Poet Asks Forgiveness by Fay Zwicky

Poem I cry your mercy—pity—love!—aye, love! by John Keats

Musical Reflection Sinner’s Prayer by Lady Gaga

Prayer by Gregory Petrov

Lord’s Prayer by Margaret Rolfe

Musical Reflection By the Grace of God by Katy Perry

Blessing from Celtic Daily Prayer

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