Pentecost +19, Year A

Musical Reflection
Any Party by Feist


Invocation

Beyond our understanding
you are God;
you speak to a world of brutal rule
and shallow indifference:
may the one who came to sit at the table
with the victimized and excluded
disturb our barren peace
and call us to another feast
where only love may rule;
through Jesus Christ, the bride/groom.
Amen.
First Reading

Lines for People After the Party
by Alex Dimitrov

And whenever they couldn’t speak they looked at each other.
How long should I look at the world before I go home?
It’s a moody life like Debussy on a weekend
and all the appointments and money and drinks they do go.
So with our beautiful coats we went back to that mess
and what happened? Someone found what they wanted
by night, by mistake. In the car it felt like summer
and we lived with no sun    . . .    just metals and leather.
A lot of   Mondays. A lot of you in the grass I go to and touch.
Oh and Los Angeles for its slow light. Rome for when it gets late.
You. Not you, but you who are reading   . . .
what won’t you ask for and want?
Of course I remember it differently because I was broke
and it feels like I’m broke still.
The cabs lined up but no one took him
where he wanted to go. Those months shared a face
and the face of a dog on a street was the only thing
that really saw you (for a long time).
Then I heard you were traveling, I heard you were somewhere,
I heard you were nowhere anyone looked for at all.
French stationery. Construction. Sent then deleted. Missed you
so sorry next time press yes to continue press now.
And I stood on Barrow then Greenwich then Allen
then all streets, every street, all the time, everyone.
There was a check you used just to drive out there.
There was a storm that brought a gold door in front of their shoes.
You know, it doesn’t get easier with the lights on.
It doesn’t get easier to watch the play with an end.
On the way out someone said, what a terrible way to portray life.
But about us. Hide all week then some place
we go empty the dark in. In the dark
with our vices and best shirts and history’s dress.
Then you could find me anytime. And then there’s right now.
Where wouldn’t we go to be no one and those people again?

 

 

Second Reading
After the Party

by Alison Stine

Sugar dries on paper plates. The cake’s
decimated and barely touched. What to do
with the balloons? A few float listlessly,
unattached, still bearing like bandages
the tape that bore them to the wall.
They’ve gone dull, rubber tips darkening
to a bottle’s pinch. It’s too late, or too early.
There are too many on the floor, stirred up
as I stir. In the end, I cut them, urge a blade
into the inch between knot and blossom.
Slow deflation. It reveals what they are:
sacs of plastic, stale with air. I’ve seen this
before, in the newspaper picture of Nefertiti,
bound in the antechamber of a tomb,
cast out of favor, her body, barely wrapped.
How they know her: by the queenly jaw,
age of limbs and teeth. Also, by the broken
mouth, smashed by priests so she cannot
eat, cannot breathe in the afterlife.
 
Gospel Reading
Matthew 22:1-14
 

Jesus responded by speaking again in parables: “The kindom of heaven is like this: there was a ruler who prepared a party for the wedding of the family’s heir; but when the ruler sent out workers to summon the invited guests, they wouldn’t come. The ruler sent other workers, telling them to say to the guests, ‘I have prepared this party for you. My oxen and fattened cattle have been slaughtered, and everything is ready; come to the wedding.’ But they took no notice; one went off to their farm, another to their business, and the rest seized the workers, attacking them brutally and killing them. The ruler was furious and dispatched troops who destroyed those murderers and burned their town.

Then the ruler said to the workers, ‘The wedding party is prepared, but those who were invited weren’t worthy. Therefore, go to the roads on the edge of town and invite everyone you find to the wedding party.’

“Then those workers went to the roads and gathered everyone they found, both evil and good. The wedding party was full of guests. Now the ruler came in and saw the guests, spotting a guest who wasn’t wearing wedding clothes. ‘My friend,’ said the ruler, ‘why are you here without a wedding garment?’ But the guest was silent. Then the ruler said to the attendants, ‘Bind this guest hand and foot, and throw them out into the darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’

“Many people are invited, but few people are chosen.”

Musical Reflection
Save the Party by Grouplove

Prayer from Space
by Frank Borman, adapted

Give us, O God,
the vision which can see Thy love in the world
in spite of human failure.
Give us the faith to trust Thy goodness
in spite of ignorance and weakness.
Give us the knowledge that we may continue to pray
with understanding hearts, and show us
what each one of us can do to set forth
the coming of the day of universal peace.
Amen.

The Lord’s Prayer

Holy Presence, your name is truly sacred.
May your vision for the world be realized,
and may your will be done in our lives as it is in heaven.
Provide us with the goodness of food
and remind us to enjoy it mindfully.
Forgive us for the times that we have rushed through life,
not noticing the small miracles around us.
And please forgive those who haven’t had enough time to notice us.
Lead us all into abundant life
in the here-and-now of our lives,
and lead us away from the busyness
that makes us live too far in the past or future.
For the here-and-now Kin-dom,
here-and-now power,
and here-and-now glory are yours this moment and forever. Amen!

 

Musical Reflection
Party Police by Alvvays


Saranam (Refuge) Blessing

Creator God,
All that we love
into your keeping.
All that we care for
into your care.
Be with us by day,
be with us by night;
and as dark closes
the eyelids with sleep,
may we waken
to the peace of a new day.

And may the blessing of God – the Parent, the Child, and the Womb,
be with us and remain with us always. Amen.

Sources:

Artwork by Hans Hofmann

Invocation from Prayers for an Inclusive Church by Steven Shakespeare

Musical Reflection Any Party by Feist

Poem Lines for People After the Party by Alex Dimitrov

Poem After the Party by Alison Stine

Musical Reflection Save the Party by Grouplove

Prayer by Frank Borman

Lord’s Prayer by Brian Brandsmeier

Musical Reflection Party Police by Alvvays

Blessing from Celtic Daily Prayer

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