October 22, 2023

Liturgy, Reflection, Benediction 2023.10.22


In a world shadowed by cruelty, violence and loss, 
Is there good reason for the planting of flowers?

Yes! For these bursts of color and beautiful 
blooms are bright dabs of grace, 
witnesses to a promise, 
reminders of a spreading beauty more eternal, 
and therefore stronger, than any evil, 
than any grief, than any injustice or violence.

What is the source of their beauty?
The forms of these flowers are the intentional designs
of a Creator who has not abandoned their 
broken and rebellious creation, but has instead 
wholly given themselves to the work of redeeming it.

May we who live in this hard time between glories
see and remember, may we see and take heart.
May we see and take delight in the 
extravagant beauty of bud and bloom, 
knowing that these living witnesses 
are rumors and reminders of a joy 
that will soon swallow all sorrow.

In the planting of these flowers, 
do we join the Creator in their work 
of heralding this impending joy?
Yes. In this and in all labors of beauty and harmony,
praise and conciliation, 
we become God’s co-workers
and faithful citizens of their kingdom, 
by acts both small and great, 
bearing witness to the perfect beauty that was,
to the ragged splendor that yet is, 
and to the hope of the greater glory that is to come, 
which is the immeasurable glory of God revealed to us,
in the redeemed natures of all things.

Let these flowers, O Lord, bear witness 
in their deepest natures to eternal things.
Let our lives also, O Lord, do the same.

God of the bud,
Christ of the bloom,
And the sweet scent of the Spirit,
We join in your divine beauty.
In your holy and harmonious name, 

(Adapted from Every Moment Holy)

Scripture Reading

We invite you to hear from the book of Genesis, Chapter 1.

1 When God began to create the heavens and the earth, 
2 the earth was complete chaos, and darkness covered the face of the deep, while a wind from God swept over the face of the waters. 
3 Then God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light. 4 And God saw that the light was good, and God separated the light from the darkness.
5 God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night. 
And there was evening and there was morning, the first day.

26 Then God said, “Let us make humans in our image, according to our likeness, and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the air and over the cattle and over all the wild animals of the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps upon the earth.” 
27 So God created humans in their image, in the image of God, God created them. … 31 God saw everything that God had made, and indeed, it was very good.

The Word of the Lord.
Thanks be to God!
The grass withers and the flower fades,
but the Word of the Lord endures forever. Amen.

Homily and Reflection

Homily Podcast: Theology of Making

How are we invited to practice creativity and co-create with Creator?

How might our practice of making invite healing and restoration?

How might we explore our own expression of creating and making?


Website: Studio Delmar. The artistic practice of Marcus Clarke


All truth is your truth, O Lord, 
and all beauty is your beauty.
Therefore use human expressions of celebration 
and longing as catalysts to draw our minds 
toward ever deeper insight, 
our imagination into new and wondering awe, 
and our heartbeats into closer rhythm with your own.

Shape our vision by your fixed precepts, Holy Spirit, 
that we might learn to discern the difference 
between those stories that are whole, 
echoing the greater narrative of your redemption, 
and those that are bent or broken.

Grant us wisdom to divide rightly, 
to separate form from content, 
craft from narrative, and meaning from emotion.
Bless us with the great discernment
to be able to celebrate the stamp of your divine image 
revealed in an excellence of craft and artistry 
even while grieving a paucity of meaning or hope in the same work.

May the stories we partake in, 
and the ways in which we engage with them, 
make us, in the end, more empathetic Christ-bearers, 
more compassionate, 
more aware of our need for grace,
better able to understand the hopes 
and fears and failings of my fellow humans, 
so that we might more authentically 
live and learn and love among them 
unto the end that all of our many stories 
might be more beautifully woven into your own greater story.

Be with us as we go forth
in the name of our creative God,
of our empathetic Savior,
and our imaginative Spirit.

(Adapted from Every Moment Holy)

Photo by Denys Nevozhai

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