Skip to main content

Life in Greencastle - Cantata

O ye heights of heaven, adore him; angel hosts,

his praises sing;

Powers, dominions, bow before him and extol

our God and King.

Let no tongue on earth be silent, every voice

in concert ring

Evermore and evermore.

Christ, to thee with God the Father and,

O Holy Ghost, to thee

Hymn and chant and high thanksgiving and

Unending praises be,

Honor, glory and dominion, and eternal victory

Evermore and evermore.


(Corde Natus ex Parentis, Aurelius Prudentius, 4th Century; translators, John M. Neale & Henry W. Baker, 19th Century)

Ah, the wind has been so cold – howling in from the west, like an icy-demon, stealing the warmth from our bones, slapping our faces till the blood rises to the surface, making car and street and tree stiff and ready to break. I sit in a comfortable place, looking down upon the city of Greencastle, but I can still see the cold’s effects: the salty streets, the slower motions. It is cold – so cold that when you step outside it truly does take your breath away.

But, the world will not be silent. Even the cold cannot keep a word of joy from crossing our lips, nor the carols from being sung. Soon it will be Christmas day. And we are readying ourselves, are we not?

We are driving through the winter winds to gather together. We are forming a choir of ourselves, a small band of voices and instruments and narrators. Cheryl is readying her fingers to do the obedience of art and grace. Patrick is urging the choir to expand their lungs, to raise their voices beyond themselves … to fill the sanctuary, to fill the world … to sing our faith again into a world that bears the brunt of other harsh winds.

Because all of life is a rehearsal for the coming concert,

Where every face will turn to the coming of the glory of God,

Where every man and woman and child will see with their own eyes the beauty and splendor of their King,

Where all nature and creation will fall again into harmony and chorus,

Where song will be the response and the singing will be love.

So, in the midst of the cold, come together and join the song. Take joy in those children who gather in auditoriums and in churches and in daycares to point us in the right direction with their cherub songs. Take part in the singing of carols. And listen as the choir leads you into the majesty and the mystery of it all.

Even though the cold wind blows, let no tongue keep silent. All praises to God in the highest, evermore and evermore. Amen.


Popular posts from this blog

Acts 5:1-11 - Questions for reflection & prayer

This past Sunday we looked at one of the more unsettling stories in the Book of Acts:  the deaths of Ananias and Sapphira.  As shared by Luke, this couple sold a piece of land and then proceeded to bring only a portion of the profit to the apostles - laying it at their feet for the good of the community.  However, what appeared to be their grave mistake (pun intended) was their collusion in claiming to have brought all the proceeds to the apostles when - in fact - they were keeping some back for themselves.  Peter announces first to Ananias the Lord's judgment, followed by a similar verdict being handed down to Sapphira a short time later.

Seen by itself, this is a strange story, but it begins to make more sense when we see it as "part of the whole."  The story of Ananias and Sapphira comes right after we hear once again of the community's unity and generosity, including their willingness to share their own goods and resources to take care of one another (ch. 4).  Th…

Acts 6:1-6 - Questions for reflection & prayer

As the Holy Spirit empowers the Christian community, new life emerges and new members are added.  This is a beautiful thing, and it is extremely important to point out that this is God's doing.  God is initiating diversity within the Christian community.  However, this also creates new tensions and new challenges.

Acts 6:1-6 gives us our first glimpse of a tension that will extend all the way to chapter 15, until the leaders of the early Church come up with a way to address the growing differences within the Christian family.  Some feel that they are being left out and that others are getting preferential treatment.  The Hellenized Christians feel they are getting the short end of the stick.

All of this is extremely relevant to thoughts and feelings occurring in our own day and age.  Across the spectrum, a majority of Americans feel like they face some form of discrimination.  But, it also points to an ongoing challenge we all face from time to time, the challenges that arise when…

Life in Greencastle: That Greatest Architect

God's peace to all of you on this beautiful Saturday afternoon.  I hope you are enjoying the warm sunshine.  Perhaps you are even still enjoying one last sunset at the beach.
We stayed fairly close to home this Spring Break, taking two short trips, including one to Turkey Run State Park and the other to Columbus, Indiana.  Anna and I had been longing to go to Columbus for quite some time.  Back in the day, we became friends with Emily and Manish Desai in our small apartment complex in Pasadena, both of whom had recently graduated with degrees in architecture from Cal Poly.  Manish would go on to earn his license in architecture and has designed a number of really beautiful spaces, including private residences but also a church out in the desert for a Native American tribe.  Anna and I have always appreciated Manish and Emily's aesthetic, which is why we knew to take note when they started telling us about Columbus, Indaina a number of years ago.  They didn't know much abo…