Ash Wednesday, Year B

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Title Sermon Date Liturgical Scripture
Easter 2, Commemoration of Dr Martin Luther King, Jr, 2018 April 8, 2018 Easter 2, Commemoration of the Life of Dr. Martin Luther King Luke 6:27-36, Ephesians 6:10-20
Easter Sunday April 1, 2018 Easter, Year B John 20:1-18
Sunrise service, 2018 – “The Road to Emmaus” April 1, 2018 Easter Luke 24:13-35
Good Friday March 30, 2018 Good Friday, Year B John 18:1-19:42
Maundy Thursday, 2018 March 29, 2018 Maundy Thursday, March 29, 2018 John 13:1-17, 31b-35
Palm Sunday, Year B March 25, 2018 Palm Sunday, Year B Mark 15:1-39, [40-47]
Lent 5, Year B March 18, 2018 The Fifth Sunday in Lent, Year B Psalm 51:1-13, John 12:20-33
Lent 4, Year B March 11, 2018 The Fourth Sunday in Lent, Year B John 3:16
Lent 3, Year B March 4, 2018 Third Sunday in Lent, Year B Exodus 20:1-17; 1 Corinthians 1:18-25; John 2:13-22; Psalm 19
Lent 2, Year B February 25, 2018 Second Sunday in Lent, Year B Genesis17:1-7, 15-16; Psalm 22:22-30, Romans 4:13-25; Mark 8:31-38
Lent 1, Year B February 18, 2018 The First Sunday in Lent, Year B Genesis 9:8-17, Ps 25:1-9, Mark 1:9-15
Ash Wednesday, Year B February 14, 2018 Ash Wednesday, Year B Isaiah 58:1-12;Psalm 103 or 103:8-14; 2 Corinthians 5:20b-6:10;Matthew 6:1-6,16-21
Last Sunday after the Epiphany February 11, 2018 Last Sunday after the Epiphany, Year B Mark 9:2-9
Fifth Sunday after the Epiphany February 4, 2018 The Fifth Sunday after the Epiphany, Year B Isaiah 40:21-31; Mark 1:29-39
Fourth Sunday after the Epiphany January 28, 2018 Fourth Sunday after the Epiphany, Year B Mark 1:21-28, Psalm 111

 

Ash Wednesday, Year B

Sermon Date:February 14, 2018

Scripture: Isaiah 58:1-12;Psalm 103 or 103:8-14; 2 Corinthians 5:20b-6:10;Matthew 6:1-6,16-21

Liturgy Calendar: Ash Wednesday, Year B


"Yucca Moth in a Bloom”

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We Christians believe that when Jesus chose to die on the cross he freed us forever from our sins.

We are already right with God, and we rejoice in that fact.

And because we rejoice, we hope that our most ardent and only desire is to be in right relationship with God, who loves us beyond any measure.  Our hope, as Paul puts it to the Corinthians, is that we have this deep longing to become the righteousness of God. 

In the following poem entitled “The Yucca Moth,” the poet A. R. Ammons, provides a beautiful image of this life giving and right relationship with God.

Ammons describes a blooming yucca plant whose flowers provide shelter for the yucca moth from the heat of the day. 

The poem goes like this.

    The yucca clump

 is blooming,

    tall sturdy spears

spangling into bells of light,

    green

in the white blooms

    faint as

a memory of mint:

 

I raid

   a bloom,

spread the hung petals out,

    and surprised he is not

a bloom-part, find

    a moth inside, the exact color,

the bloom his daylight port or cove:

 

though time comes

    and goes and troubles

are unlessened,

    the yucca is lifting temples

of bloom:  from the night

    of our dark flight, can

we go in to heal, live

    out in white-green shade

the radiant, white, hanging day?

The poet is surprised to find the moth inside the bloom because the moth blends so well that Ammons almost doesn’t see it. 

The poet then implies that the yucca plant is faithful and dependable, when he writes that

even though time comes and goes and troubles are unlessened, the yucca lifts its “temples of bloom.” 

The poem closes with a question. 

“From the night of our dark flight, can we go in to heal, live out in white-green shade the radiant, white, hanging day?”

This question is the poet’s Lenten dare to each one of us–

to dare to enter and rest in God’s shelter and protection for healing so fully that over time we take on God’s characteristics and become content to live our days fully in God’s presence, right with God and with one another.  

The season of Lent gives us the time to take stock of our lives, to be more disciplined in giving, to enter more deeply into prayer, to fast from the things that distract us from God, to forgive one another, and to be intentional about entering into and resting in God’s merciful love, so that we can live as the transfigured and resurrected human beings that God has already made us and hopes that we will want to become. 

Amen

 

Resource:  Ammons, A. R., “The Yucca Moth,” page 142,  Collected Poems 1951-1971, New York:  W. W. Norton & Co., Inc, 1972. 

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