“Can they bring the stones back to life from those heaps of rubble?”

When David’s son scannedthe spiritual wreckage that was His houseand delared, “Destroy thisand I’ll raise it in three days,”He meantwhat He said not asmetaphor – which my students all knowis a kind of lying, a hedging of bets –but as Truth, both in symbol and fact.Daily they destroyed this house, and He,the true house, wouldContinue reading ““Can they bring the stones back to life from those heaps of rubble?””

Christmas 7: Rejoice in your new clothes

2017 is almost over, and today we have two choral pieces to conclude our year with, one early, one modern, both settings of one of the readings for the first Sunday after Christmas, Isaiah 61:10-62:4. The first is the delightfully joyous “Gaudens Gaudebo in Domino” by the 16th century German composer Philip Dulchius. The textContinue reading “Christmas 7: Rejoice in your new clothes”

In Transit

…lucky to be leafless: Deciduous reminder to let go. (Eugene Peterson, “Blessed are the poor in spirit”) Lost in auto-pilot, I find myself, false turn on false turn, circling in this airport country where lanes diverge to let the suitcase-laden taxi-bound find ways to cities, and ways away. A loop, and again I am whereContinue reading “In Transit”

How lonely sits the city

I did not see them go there with their flame to burn the city’s heart, the city’s bones. I did not see the past fall down in ash or hear the cries of covenant in pain. I did not hear the gongs of history clash or see foe-cities’ gods fight in the square. Yet inContinue reading “How lonely sits the city”

Lent: New Song 6

Newness declares itself in broken hearts: old ruts are vast and carry dust yet penitence cleans fathoms deep      and always makes anew. What yesterday made shame your song today is fading into silence. Listen: polyphonic hope arises,       gentle, soft, yet sure. The old has passed, yet still can yell; The new has come,Continue reading “Lent: New Song 6”

Lent: New Song 2

When morning bright awakens eyes:      awaken tongue; awaken mind. When birdsong sounds the new of day:      sing, soul and heart; sing new pathways. When yesterday creeps back to minds:      awaken, spirit; transform flesh. When patterns threaten, dead songs groan:      listen, heart, to Spirit’s song. Turn the sounds of self to silence;Continue reading “Lent: New Song 2”

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”

Evening Collect: The Horn is Lifted (Cornucopia of Heaven)

Evening Collect: The Horn is Lifted After Hammock, “Tres Dominé”   O God – the empty horn is lifted; the hollow shell is given voice; the broken branch is whittled out and sings.   Three persons, my emptiness becomes Your fullness; my earthen jar becomes Your vessel; my bruised reed hums with Your song inContinue reading “Evening Collect: The Horn is Lifted (Cornucopia of Heaven)”

Assurance (Cornucopia of Heaven)

Assurance After Giovanni Gabrieli, “Exultavit Cor Meum”   From depths,             from brokenness, the trumpet sounds, the trumpet                         sounds the new,             it sounds the dawn                         of low made high.                                     Exalt, my heart!             My heart exalts.                         My eyes will see,                                     my ears will hearContinue reading “Assurance (Cornucopia of Heaven)”