Monthly Archives: April 2013

Making Music Together

Last year a baby grand piano was installed for a special performance of a piece by Beethoven. Andy Jackson of the Cobwebs orchestra was the featured pianist. Playing with him were … well, various people who happened to be in the Haymarket bus station at the time. You can read more about the performance in the video description.

Sometimes life in the Kingdom of God feels like this. God is making music, and we are asked to join in with the song He is singing over creation (Zephaniah 3:17, among others). Not only are we joining in His song, we are also coming together as part of the Church. Sometimes that can be beautiful. And sometimes it can be awkward.

Are you giving grace to others? That is music to God’s ears.

Are you helping the poor? That’s one of His favorite songs.

Are you consoling the hurting? That’s a theme that runs through all His favorite symphonies.

As we go through life trying to serve, to help, to give, we’re joining in the song that God is writing, directing, performing.

Sometimes in the church the song is obscured by petty arguments–or large ones. Sometimes jealousies creep in. Sometimes sin mars the song, jarring the notes.

But when we come together with the purpose of knowing God, of showing Him to the world, of being part of His concert rather than wanting to be a solo act … that is when music is made that can impact the world.

The music that we make together may have hesitations, awkward pauses, wrong notes; but it is in the togetherness, as we join in with God’s song, that the music thrives.

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Thursday Intermission

Hey there! Welcome to Thursday Intermission—your break from a busy week.

First up is a video from Kid Snippets giving some helpful tips for use in job interviews. In this economy, it helps to be prepared. (And if anyone’s hiring, I, too, am good at pushing buttons.)

What’s that? You don’t feel like working today? Well, then, how about relaxing with some big cats and their boxes?

Or perhaps you could pick up a new hobby, like this guy.

Whatever you do, enjoy your Thursday!

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A Psalm for this Week

This has been quite a week for our nation. In the midst of the bombs at Boston, the explosion in Texas and the drama of today’s gunfire and chase, know that there is there is one place to turn for comfort, for solace or for peace.

Psalm 27

The Lord is my light and my salvation—

whom shall I fear?

The Lord is the stronghold of my life—

of whom shall I be afraid?

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Thursday Intermission

Welcome to Thursday Intermission–it’s time for your weekly break.

I’m pretty sure I don’t shop in the right places. For instance, unlike these Dutch shoppers, I’ve never been surprised by a flash mob of actors  in 17th-century attire, accompanied by horses, running through a mall.  This excellent recreation of Rembrandt’s “The Night Watch” was performed to promote the reopening of the Rijksmuseum.

You can learn more about the painting and the museum here.

And if you’re interested in seeing the painting re-envisioned–perhaps featuring Donald Duck?–you can watch this promotion by the museum.

Thanks to Melody for sending me the flash mob video.

Hope your day is wonderful!

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Immanuel

Jesus loves... you

Jesus loves… you (Photo credit: Xavier Donat)

I mentioned yesterday that this has been a busy week. There has been a lot to do. There has also been a lot   to think about.

One friend is questioning her direction in life, wondering whether the career she’s always known is the one she wants to continue. She’s been successful; but is that enough?

Another friend is struggling with a child who is on drugs; when is it time for tough love? When does caring become enabling? The line sometimes is so fine as to be almost invisible.

And yet another friend is grieving over a child who no longer believes in God. We can encourage them, because we have walked that path; yet we also know the tears.

Meanwhile, the world spins along, with its debates and threats and injustices.  What can we do?

For myself, I’ve been doing a lot of listening, less talking, and more praying. And I’ve been trusting in one thing: That God, who is sovereign and sublime and above all, is the One who revealed Himself as Immanuel, God with us.

In the midst of the questions, He is with us.

In the middle of the anguish, He is with us.

In our times of despair, of worry, of fear–He is with us.

I will declare that your love stands firm forever,

that you have established your faithfulness in heaven itself. …

Who is like you, Lord God Almighty?

You, Lord, are mighty, and your faithfulness surrounds you.

 — Psalm 89:2, 8; New International Version

Whatever you, or those you care about, are going through, know that God is with you. His love for you–and for them–is unending. Even during those times when we can’t quite make sense of what is happening, we can still find our place of comfort in Him.

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Thursday Intermission

Welcome to your weekly break!

I’ll admit, this week I could use a break.  Several things went wrong that shouldn’t have, while others have piled up into a formidable pile of things to take care of.

But when I look at the week, I realize I can focus on the negatives … or on the good things that have happened, too. I suppose it’s a matter of perspective. Which brings us to this:

“Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest.”

— Matthew 11:28

If you, too, are weary, maybe it’s time to give your worries to the Lord.

What’s your perspective today?

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Easter Celebration

Year C: Easter Sunday

Year C: Easter Sunday (Photo credit: Fr. Stephen, MSC)

By now the eggs have been found, the chocolate bunnies have met their demise, the children’s sugar highs have finally worn off.

And we’re left wondering what it meant. Some are exhilarated, having felt that extra touch from the Lord. Others are discouraged, having felt, to be honest, nothing all that special. And some—hopefully not many—are simply relieved that the extra church services are over with.

But let’s think back to the aftermath of that first Easter. What a time that was! There was all the emotion of the crowds as they praised Jesus—and then turned on Him. There were the trials, the scourging, disciples fleeing, women weeping … and the death of the One called Messiah.

He was buried.

That was that.

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