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Lent 4 (2017.03.26 Sermon)

March 26th, 2017

John Chandler

Mason Parva guided us through reading and reflection on John 9:1-12 for this fourth week of lent.

Art and poetry used:


the ARTWORSHIP project by Jamie and Jeremy Wells


“The Sorrowful Saint” by Scott Erickson.


the ARTWORSHIP project by Jamie and Jeremy Wells

Eucharist // Robert Deeble

Second round before the count,
the gloves went off, we both went down.
Blindsided by the distance you were just in reach.
I watched the towers fall on your TV.

Stumbling Hands and burning eyes,
we hold our own, then compromise
I just want to begin again,
I just want to live in our own skin.

I think it’s kind of strange,
we get so close we get estranged.
We get so close, we get estranged.

Forty days and forty nights,
Noah watched the river rise.
You flood again, I go for wood,
all our years misunderstood.

We get so close we get estranged.

Walk into mass, the ceilings high with loftiness
and lowered eyes.
The sound of choirs, a slow caress,
covers wounds my heart has dressed.

A Lover’s quarrel, all in duress,
I fold my arms for Eucharist
We fell in love – we got enmeshed,
bless me father I’m a mess…

Bless me father I’m a mess.

to grow deaf ears // Mason Parva

Days like today I awake to find
another beside me in my sheets,
who greets me and whispers into my ear
quiet words of unworthiness.

I toss to my side, blanketing face
to shield it from the sun,
pretend to have fallen back asleep
and never to have heard,
hoping to be left alone a little longer.

Outside the birds chirp all at once
As if none could wait to take its turn
to deliver an urgent message to me.
I listen and I hear it again –
murmured words of unworthiness.

In the kitchen the teapot cries
Like a boy with pavement on his elbow,
And the cabinets croak like weathered smokers,
And the dishes chink and meet together,
And the microwave hums
And the microwave pops
And the microwave beeps
And all I hear are words –
the same, sad words –
louder words of unworthiness.

At the window seat I spoon my oats
And watch a neighbor waddle outside,
hugging a heaping laundry bag to her chest,
leaving a trail of garments behind
lest she lose her way back home.
The spoon rings as I scrape it
against an empty bowl — gathering
remainders like a man gathers dropped
change at the bus station kiosk —
Ceramic and silver in a shouting match
raising words ever louder
painful, hurtful words,
of unworthiness.

I turn from the window to hide myself
and pause before I double
to wash the bowl without a faucet.
I cup my eyes like someone waiting
for permission to see a gift
Then wiping down to dry on my shirt
I hear myself join the chorus,
and aloud I am yelling words,
screaming all these words
of unworthiness.

I give it time before I stand
bowl and spoon drop in the sink —
cabinets slam —
blinds tumble —

I let them speak however they would.

Days like today I curse and wonder
If any places are silent places
If there is any great way to escape the noise,
the painful noise that comes with hearing

If ever a man could grow deaf ears,
for him who has ears
to learn not to hear

(words of unworthiness)

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