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Proper 22

  • reflection on the god character from Job 1-2

  • litany based on Psalm 8

  • "beware the sons of god"

    You were one of the sons of God...
    or sons of god...
    or sons of gods?

    Among them
    one of them
    called simply the adversary.

    And I the memory of you.

    So much blame
    I have given you
    so much shame
    is it yours?
    or theirs?
    or mine?

    Job's story
    claims that you did
    God's bidding
    the god character ...
    ...goading you on as you challenged
    the comfortable
    and afflicted the suffering

    But what kind of God?
    What kind of God
    would encourage you
    to taunt?
    What kind of God
    would allow you
    to torment the grieving?

    And you.
    You who do the bidding,
    what does that make you?

    And me.
    Me who holds your story,
    what does that make me?

    Psalm 8 with quotes from the Metta Sutta by Thich Nhat Hanh, Teachings on Love

    O LORD, our Sovereign,
    how majestic is your name in all the earth!
    You have set your glory above the heavens.
    When I look at your heavens, the work of your fingers,
    the moon and the stars that you have established;
    what are human beings that you are mindful of them,
    mortals that you care for them?

    Even as a mother protects with her life
    her child, her only child,
    so with a boundless heart
    should one cherish all living beings.

    Yet you have made them a little lower than God,
    and crowned them with glory and honor.
    You have given them dominion over the works of your hands;
    you have put all things under their feet,
    all sheep and oxen,
    and also the beasts of the field,
    the birds of the air, and the fish of the sea,
    whatever passes along the paths of the seas.

    Let no one do harm to anyone.
    Let no one put the life of anyone in danger.
    Let no one, out of anger or ill will, wish anyone harm.

    O LORD, our Sovereign,
    how majestic is your name in all the earth!

    May all living beings live in security and peace,
    beings who are frail or strong, tall or short, big or small,
    visible or not visible, near or far away, already born or yet to be born.
    May all of them dwell in perfect tranquility.

    Thich Nhat Hanh is a world renown Vietnamese Zen master and peacemaker. He is the author of numerous books and is known for his poetry. He lives in Plum Village, a meditation community in France, and travels widely teaching the "art of mindful living"..