I love what that this song says. And I am reminded of such promise as we celebrate the Baptism of the Lord. God has chosen us with love, fidelity, mercy, and hope.
I have no words for today. The O Antiphons begin today, but I am not ready for them. The poem, The Second Coming, by William Butler Yates, comes to mind, so I offer it to you today, with a heavy heart. Yet, we know that beauty, love, truth, redemption and salvation will find its way to Bethlehem to be born.
THE SECOND COMING
Turning and turning in the widening gyre
The falcon cannot hear the falconer;
Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,
The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
The best lack all conviction, while the worst
Are full of passionate intensity.
Surely some revelation is at hand;
Surely the Second Coming is at hand.
The Second Coming! Hardly are those words out
When a vast image out of Spiritus Mundi
Troubles my sight: a waste of desert sand;
A shape with lion body and the head of a man,
A gaze blank and pitiless as the sun,
Is moving its slow thighs, while all about it
Wind shadows of the indignant desert birds.
The darkness drops again but now I know
That twenty centuries of stony sleep
Were vexed to nightmare by a rocking cradle,
And what rough beast, its hour come round at last,
Slouches towards Bethlehem to be born?
Today we celebrate our parish feast day with great joy! Enjoy abundant blessings this day, and don’t be surprised if you find yourself singing this song in your head as the day progresses.
Today, our parish feast day, is about the freedom to say yes. That is what I think of today- the freedom to say yes, and the courage to do so, under what must have felt like impossible circumstances. That is why these are two of my favorite Annunciation images, both Pre-Raphelite, not a particularly favorite style of art for me.
(click on the images to enlarge them)
Shocked. Surprised. Frightened. But still she said… yes.
And that changed everything. Everything.
On Sunday we will hear the Shema Yisra’el in First Reading from Deuteronomy, and then again in the Gospel from Mark, and seen above. This prayer is at the heart of Judaism and is recited twice a day. If we consider this prayer in the context of Jesus’ life, we know that it was essential to his life and ministry – and should be to ours. At the PrayTell blog, theologian Kimberly Hope Belcher wrote a little bit about the use of this Scripture in the Lectionary, and she got me thinking about it.
Here is an interesting composition of the ancient words of the prayer, set to a more contemporary piece of music. It is humbling (to me anyway) to think that we must be reminded regularly to know the we are to “love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength,” and “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these.”
As with most things, easier said than done. Please let us all remember, pray for, and love with action, all of our brothers and sisters, our neighbors so to speak, whose lives are in turmoil in the wake of the storm. We will be taking up a second collection for storm victims in the next week or so, details will follow.
OK, I have never had this happen, but I can’t embed this video – so please take the extra click over to YouTube if you would like to see it. Blessings and peace, prayers for all.