Sunday, March 26, 2006

Mozart's Requiem and the Laws of Ecclesiastical Polity

The morning was a good one. Church seemed to run a bit long, but the liturgies came off well.

I had a time with the sermon. The Gospel was a challenge. Not from the issue of it being complex, but from its familiarity. Jesus feeds the five thousand, from the Gospel of John. Simple, right? Just another miracle--or, perhaps there is a rational explanation? My thesis was that if we are going to make the choice to live into the life of faith, then we need to accept the fact that the kingdom of God really is in the here and now. That means we accept the text. Without the dressing up of miracle talk. Without trying to figure out which disciple slipped some extra baccala and toasty cakes into the distribution basket. Jesus feeds 5K with two fish and five loaves.

Or, look at ancient Israel? For seventy years of sabbaths redeemed, God decides to turn the heart of King Cyrus of Persia to the good for the people of God. Generations have experienced exile. The ruins of the old temple are covered and hidden by overgrowth. The walls of Jerusalem are a rubbled dream. Then, a letter from the King of the World--Israel, your God has given the world to me. Go home. Rebuild the temple and the city walls. Get up. Go home. Not tomorrow. Today.

So, the recipe for kingdom life? Life into the present moment and allow your mind, heart, ears and eyes to experience God breaking in all around us. We are now. We are here. No rational explanations. Just reality shared with neighbor. In God. Good stuff.

This afternoon L and I headed back to the church for the Lenten concert. Mozart's requiem. That and a Haydn cello concerto made for a lovely and gracious musical evening. The performance was stunning. It was the new organ's debut outside of Sunday liturgies, and with the small chamber orchestra and some soloists, the choir turned in a moving, stirring interpretation. I love the piece, and the way they brought it to life in the sanctuary was a joy to hear and see. It was, truly, a "warm" sound.

Finally, a parishioner gave me the first five books of Hooker's Laws of Ecclesiastical Polity as a first anniversary gift. A really nice edition. So many gifts, of spirit and grace.

In the wake of yesterday's Diocesan Convention (which was not so bad, and not so very good) it was a pleasure to come home to Trinity, enjoy the people, ministries, its arts and its warmth.

A great way to enjoy a Sunday's refreshment.

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