There was some real energy for titling this piece “2016 Did Not Totally Suck”. Then Carla pointed us to comments from Wendell Berry, made earlier this month in Baltimore:
“I can’t give anybody hope. Hope has to come up out of you … To find something worth hoping for is a very good place to start. There are things worth hoping for, there are good people, this is still a very beautiful world.”
Good people, things worth hoping for, glimpses of a beautiful world amidst evolving faith – a reasonable setup for our year-end review.
One of my professors, Paul Galbreath, taught me to think of the Lord’s Supper as an eyes-wide-open prayer. That when we do the liturgy in thanking God, remembering Christ, and praying for the Holy Spirit to make broken places whole, we keep our eyes open to the vision of a table where all are welcome and invited, where swords are beaten into plowshares and the meal of grace and interconnected wholeness is bountiful and enough. So we open our eyes. We grab the hand of another. We keep marching forward, saying to our siblings in the faith, “Keep your eyes open. Feel the pain and feel the cries. Hear the voices of those who are weeping, and know that it is for the sake of all of creation that we amplify such voices rather than muffle them out. Keep believing that the triune God is at work in this broken world, weeping with those who weep and ushering us forward to do what needs to be done so that we all might gather at the table of justice and faithfulness in God’s family made known and restored.”
Last night, and every Monday night here in Round Pond [Maine], there is music. This Friday and every Friday in Floyd [Virginia], there is music. Between those two places, and even in each place by itself, the left-to-right political spectrum is, I believe, nearly complete. Let the music prevail. It’s in us all. And there are other elements, shared and uniting. We must find ways to let the transcendent transcend.
That’s my sign and I’m sticking to it.
As I drove, we listened, and we talked. We talked about Brahms’ love of cross rhythms and the beauty of having the cellos play above the violas for certain passages and how sometimes the trombones were like Jesus. We talked about moments we heard the ghost of Beethoven and moments we heard the influence of Bach. This wasn’t a normal conversation at this stage in my dad’s struggle with dementia; holding onto a complete thought was painfully difficult for him. But, he’s a musician, and music has a peculiar power to make rough places plain.
It has been such a joy to watch the youth of Ginter Park experience this musical. … they have been working for months with energy, care and joy. This has been an incredible process, full of growth and hard work – and believe me, Saturday night is going to ROCK!
Now in their 20th season, City Singers has a growing endowment fund, increasing donor support, and strong community partnerships — making the way for their next 20 seasons. For all you have made possible, a huge THANK YOU to Ginter Park Presbyterian Church!
Here in the USA, most of us would be locked away in our houses watching TV. I doubt many of these Haitians had TVs with cable providers that stream all types of “entertainment” 24 hours a day. These people were living. Life is connecting, sharing, interacting, negotiating, trading, helping. Do we even realize what we are missing?