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Archive for April, 2015

The Commune

Once upon a time, there was a group of young people.   They selected a place of meeting.   It was a place where some lived, and a place where others only gathered.   It was a place where they shared their minutes, their meals, their joys, and their sorrows.   It  had an air and aura all its own, both literally and figuratively.   They called it “the commune”.   How fitting.

Time passed.   The callings of life mandated that the commune was no more.  And yet, the callings of true community draw those young people back, together, to a time where place is irrelevant, and relationship is preeminent.   May such love of relationship, and community, never die.

My mind and body called me into words, and The Word, very early this day.   I’ve been reading the words of Ravi Zacharias, and subsequently of the Appstle John.

In understanding the “Godhead three” there is an acknowledgement that God is relationship.   God is love.   And we, being created in God’s image, are stamped out to be just so.   We are called to relationship.   We are called to love.   We are called to be in community.

In reading Zacharias’s words from a chapter entitled “Your Worship Matters”, it all becomes more clear, crystal clear, and Communion, Holy Communion” begins to take on a new level of meaning.

In reading John’s words from a book we call “Revelation”, the same is true: “Then the angel showed me the river of the water of life, as clear as crystal, flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb…” (Rev. 22:1)

Amen, and amen.

   
         

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The words came from the trail behind me.   They were words based on innocent observation, but lacked complete and full insight.   And yet, she meant me well.

  I was grateful.   You see, just a mere two or three hours prior, I laid in the land of limited oxygen and fading energy, mustering my reserves for the long journey remaining ahead.   As I continued on the trail, my young companion, my progeny, had gone on before me, leaving me alone.   My water supply was now gone, leaving me parched, if not feeling drained.

Then came her question: “Sir, are you OK?”    She walked beside me for a short while.   Her questions soon revealed that she was a nurse, and my condition was likely being assessed.   I thanked her, revealed little information, and told her I would be fine.   If she had stayed with me a bit longer, or had even thought to offer me water, she might have come to understand just how hard a time I was indeed having.   And yet, I offered the fateful phrase “I am fine” and off she went.

  
I love the analogies and metaphors life has to offer.    One of the best is that life is a journey, a sojourn spent climbing a trail, sometimes difficult and painful, but always filled with abject beauty.

And here, we find ourselves today.  We are tired.   We are parched.   The air is thin.   There are those on the trail with us who are suffering more deeply in the moment than are we.

Sometimes, all you can do is come alongside them and ask “Are you OK”. Other times, perhaps we should save our breath and theirs, and simply walk alongside them and share our resources on the trail that lies ahead.

  
Psalm 95

Come, let us sing for joy to the Lord;
    let us shout aloud to the Rock of our salvation.
Let us come before him with thanksgiving
    and extol him with musicand song.

For the Lord is the great God,
    the great King above all gods.
In his hand are the depths of the earth,
    and the mountain peaks belong to him.
The sea is his, for he made it,
    and his hands formed the dry land.

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Rhymes, and…

  

So you speak to me of sadness and the coming of the winter…

Where does one begin to describe the turnings of the past week? And what are the reasons for something like this?   Thursday was a time of unexpected sadness.    The day seemingly began with all the promise and all the normalcy of any spring day.   But, springtime can bring unexpected storms.  Roses are a thing of beauty, but rose bushes have thorns, and thorns can make us bleed.   As my eldest daughter penned later that day, we all lost a friend on Thursday, and we grieve with friends that life’s thorns have made to bleed. And we wonder why.

As we wandered through the afternoon that day, my youngest daughter retrieved an old CD in the car and began to play the music of John Denver.  The song “Rhymes and Reasons” was both painfully haunting and stunningly beautiful, just like a rose bush, and as many who loved him will say, just like the life of Joe.

So you speak to me of sadness and the coming of the winter,
The fear that is within you now that seems to never end,
and the dreams that have escaped you and the hope that you’ve forgotten,
and you tell me that you need me now and you want to be my friend,
and you wonder where we’re going, where’s the rhyme and where’s the reason?
And it’s you cannot accept: it is here we must begin to seek the wisdom of the children
and the graceful way of flowers in the wind.
For the children and the flowers are my sisters and my brothers,
their laughter and their loveliness would clear a cloudy day.
Like the music of the mountains and the colors of the rainbow,
they’re a promise of the future and a blessing for today.

Though the cities start to crumble and the towers fall around us,
the sun is slowly fading and it’s colder than the sea.
It is written: From the desert to the mountains they shall lead us,
by the hand and by the heart, they will comfort you and me.
In their innocence and trusting they will teach us to be free.
For the children and the flowers are my sisters and my brothers,
their laughter and their loveliness would clear a cloudy day.
And the song that I am singing is a prayer to non-believers,
come and stand beside us we can find a better way. 

 The world we inhabit is one that has been broken, indeed, but like the temporary blooms of beauty found in a bush full of thorns, there is joy and there is hope
for tomorrow.  

  

I found an old toy school bus in our attic yesterday, and it served as a reminder of how much our kids are growing and changing before our very eyes.    There will continue to be blooms of all too fleeting but always recurring beauty amongst the thorns, and our God will come and stand beside us, and we can
find a better way…

http://youtu.be/7Yb0QMEktDE

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