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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.

Amen.

(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.

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