Christmas 8: Order my beginning

Another year begins, and today we have a special piece of music to see in the new year: Bach’s Cantata for New Year’s Day, Part IV of his spectacular Christmas Oratorio. This cantata takes as its theme the presentation of Jesus at the Temple, but as often happens with Bach the story is explored throughContinue reading “Christmas 8: Order my beginning”

Clutching at Light: For Leonard Cohen

…everything that is illuminated becomes a light… (Saint Paul) Too dark, Leonard. Just after Solstice, the days still short, the dark surprised me in its early arrival, and your first song grabbed me with its midnight-pitch grip, and Isaac bound by demons, crying, Here I am, Lord. These days are dark enough; I turned fromContinue reading “Clutching at Light: For Leonard Cohen”

Lent: Enough 1

Hold tight. Hold me tight: what coverings I have sought,      what fig-leaves, cannot disguise my nakedness. My shame burns garments – yet You clothe in righteousness.             Hold tight. Hold me tight; You are enough, yet I am afraid, and turn to fig-leaves when rightly I should    bathe myself in You. O Lamb,Continue reading “Lent: Enough 1”

Lent: The Wait, the Weight 6

Number days, yet know your days      are kept in Him. If He held stars, then He can hold your dross, your deadened weight. At dead-ends, wait. He makes       all things well. Hope can break, yet covenant anchors days and ends. Morning mends. The dross, the deadened weight       of broken hope lifts. WhenContinue reading “Lent: The Wait, the Weight 6”

Lent: The Wait, the Weight 1

Waves drag, anchor fails – my God my God why In this torpor, what lifts? The heart, bird-like, hovers – an albatross, a vulture? Yet a dove dives deep and holds; it coos what cannot be cried. My God my God why – too heavy for words, yet hands can be raised, barely, above theContinue reading “Lent: The Wait, the Weight 1”

Lent: Man of Sorrows 4

Lay me down – slow me down and lay me down upon the Cross, in Jesus’ hands. Slow my heart and silence all the numb self-serving of my pleas; stifle pride, unlock the clench of fists deep in this fickle dust. Lay me down, my soul; lay down my soul in Jesus’ hands. Their scars haveContinue reading “Lent: Man of Sorrows 4”

Lent: Man of Sorrows 1

What fuels my pride is nothing like what You gave up – true God, true man – when you bowed as low as bowing goes,     as low as heaven spans. What strikes my face is feather-like beside the spear that pierced Your side; my burdens roll onto the floor      beside the death YouContinue reading “Lent: Man of Sorrows 1”

Lent: Humility 1

In praises, bow. The dust heap is not your final home, yet He is king and though a king He also bowed and, humble, became dust. So wait in dust, and bow. And sing! Such humble, unaffected fun befits the heirs of one who danced the stars alight – again! again! – in child’s constantContinue reading “Lent: Humility 1”

Lent: New Song 1

Oh sing to the Lord a new song; sing to the Lord all the earth!…Tell of his salvation from day to day. (Psalm 96:1, 2b) Old songs rot in dead ears; Old ruts of thought declare: That was not me       I will try harder          I had no choice                 That’s just the person thatContinue reading “Lent: New Song 1”

Lent: Emmaus 1

” And he said to them, ‘O foolish ones and slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken! Was it not necessary that the Christ should suffer these things and enter into his glory?’” (Luke 24:25-26) Slow to understand, the day turns to night. Light dwindles, the length of days shortens; haveContinue reading “Lent: Emmaus 1”