Pentecost +23, Year A

Musical Reflection
Fool by Perfume Genius


Invocation

Holy God,
whose fire of love
never goes out:
free us from
the fear of scarcity
that keeps us out
of love’s own feast;
renew our trust
in your love
which knows no death
and keeps no count;
through Jesus Christ, the oil of gladness.
Amen.
First Reading

Wisdom
by Grace Baer Hollowell

I do not know
What wisdom is –
But if I knew,
It might be a blue shadow
Where some dumb thing
That never weeps
Creeps away to die.
I do not know
What wisdom is –
But if I knew
It might be a blue shadow.
Wisdom might be trees.

Second Reading
The Foolishness of God is Wiser than Men
(1 Corinthians 1:25)

by Judson Mitcham

God’s editors erased what they thought not right:
the lighter side of Christ, how Jesus laughed,
delighted, pierced with irony, surprised.

A child’s first word could have done it;
or the feel of water firm beneath his feet;
or Pilate’s simple question “What is truth?”

I believe he caught his sandal on a root;
that he shook his head, chuckling at himself,
humbled, but renewed; that it was men

who could not quite handle what it meant: Christ,
blessed by a great joke, going to his knees,
saying “mercy”, saying “please”.

 
Gospel Reading
Matthew 25:1-13

“At that time the kindom of heaven will be like ten attendants who took their lamps and went out to meet the bridal party. Now five of them were wise, and the other five were foolish. The foolish ones took their lamps but didn’t bring oil for them. But the wise ones took their lamps and also brought containers of oil.

“When the bridal party was delayed, they all became drowsy and went to sleep. But at midnight there was a cry, ‘Look, the bridal party! Come out to meet them.’

“Then all those attendants got up and prepared their lamps. But the foolish attendants said to the wise ones, ‘Give us some of your oil, because our lamps have gone out.’

“But the wise replied, ‘No, because if we share with you, there won’t be enough for our lamps and yours. We have a better idea. You go to those who sell oil and buy some for yourselves.’ But while they were gone to buy oil, the wedding party came. Those who were ready went to the wedding. Then the door was shut.

“Later the other attendants came and said, ‘open the door for us.’

“But the doorkeeper replied, ‘I tell you the truth, I don’t know you.’

“Therefore, keep alert, because you don’t know the day or the hour.

 

Musical Reflection
My Door is Always Open by Noah and the Whale

Prayer
by John Wesley, adapted

Now, to God the Creator, who first loved us, and made us accepted in the Beloved;
to God the Redeemer, who loved us, and washed us from our sins;
to God the Holy Spirit, who stirs the love of God in our hearts,
be all love and all glory in time and to all eternity.
Amen.

The Lord’s Prayer

Abba:
Blessed be your working;
Soon be your appearing;
Done be your desiring.
Our bread provide us;
Our debts forgive us;
From trials free us.
Amen.

 

Musical Reflection
Open the Door by Otis Redding


Blessing

May God give us to drink of God’s cup;
may the sun be bright upon us;
may the night call down peace;
and when we come to God’s household
may the door be open wide
for us to go in to our joy.

And may the blessing of God – the Creator, the Saviour, and the Sanctifier,
be with us and remain with us always. Amen.

Sources:

Artwork by Peata Larkin

Invocation from Prayers for an Inclusive Church by Steven Shakespeare

Musical Reflection Fool by Perfume Genius

Poem Wisdom by Grace Baer Hollowell

Poem The Foolishness of God is Wiser than Men by Judson Mitcham

Musical Reflection My Door is Always Open by Noah and the Whale

Prayer by John Wesley

Lord’s Prayer from The Covenant of Peace: A Liberation Prayer Book

Musical Reflection Open the Door by Otis Redding

Blessing from Celtic Daily Prayer

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