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The Still Point: The Fourth Sunday after Pentecost: Proper 8
A Time of Meditation and Reflection
… At the still point of the turning world. Neither flesh nor fleshless;
Neither from nor towards; at the still point, there the dance is,
But neither arrest nor movement. And do not call it fixity,
Where past and future are gathered. Neither movement from nor towards,
Neither ascent nor decline. Except for the point, the still point,
There would be no dance, and there is only the dance…
T.S. Eliot, Burnt Norton
Peace on each one who comes in need;
Peace on each one who comes in joy.
Peace on each one who offers prayers;
Peace on each one who offers song.
Peace of the Maker, Peace of the Son,
Peace of the Spirit, the Triune One.
Praise to you, God, for all your work among us.
Yours is the vigor in creation,
yours is the impulse in our new discoveries.
Make us adventurous, yet reverent and hopeful
in all we do. Amen.
The Gospel Matthew 10:40-42
Jesus said, “Whoever welcomes you welcomes me, and whoever welcomes me welcomes
the one who sent me. Whoever welcomes a prophet in the name of a prophet will receive a
prophet’s reward; and whoever welcomes a righteous person in the name of a righteous
person will receive the reward of the righteous; and whoever gives even a cup of cold water
to one of these little ones in the name of a disciple– truly I tell you, none of these will lose
Poem: “A Glass of Water” by May Sarton
Here is a glass of water from my well.
It tastes of rock and root and earth and rain;
It is the best I have, my only spell,
And it is cold, and better than champagne.
Perhaps someone will pass this house one day
To drink, and be restored, and go his way,
Someone in dark confusion as I was
When I drank down cold water in a glass,
Drank a transparent health to keep me sane,
After the bitter mood had gone again.
Aside from the obvious connection between May Sarton’s “glass of water” and Jesus’s “cup of
cold water,” both texts have a Eucharistic sense of a common cup that only refreshes because
its bearer (Jesus, the chalice-bearer, the house dweller in the poem) has already been
refreshed. We can take the cup/glass of water in other directions, too: the ministry of the
baptized, Jesus’s first miracle at Cana (transforming a simple cup of water into, perhaps, the
champagne from the poem), and the “still waters” of Psalm 23.
Questions for Meditation:
• Though we have not enjoyed the physical Eucharist in months, we can imagine what
sharing a “glass of water” might mean in these times. For you, what does the glass of
• How have you benefited from someone else’s refreshing gesture, words, or actions
• How have you “passed the cup” recently?
We bring before God someone whom we have met or remembered today
We bring to God someone who is hurting tonight and needs our prayer
We bring to God a troubled situation in our world
We bring to God, silently, someone whom we find hard to forgive or trust
We bring ourselves to God that we might grow in generosity of spirit, clarity of mind, and
warmth of affection
We offer our thanks to God for the blessings in our lives
We name before God those who have died.
Gracious God, you hear all our prayers: those we speak aloud, those we hold in our hearts, and
those prayers for which we have no words. Hear the prayers of your people, and grant them as
may be best for us, for the sake of your holy name. Amen.
Accept our thanks for all you have done, O God. Our hands were empty, and you filled them.
May Christ’s holy, healing, enabling Spirit be with us every step of the way, and be our guide as
our road changes and turns, and the blessing of God our Creator, Redeemer and Giver of life be
among us now and remain with us forever. Amen.