Saturday, April 25, 2020

Stay With Us

“Stay With Us”

On the third Sunday of Easter we are presented with a well-known story from the Gospel of Luke.  It is afternoon on the day of the resurrection.  Two men are traveling on the road from Jerusalem to Emmaus. They are conversing and debating “all the things that had occurred”.  Jesus draws near and begins to walk with them, but for some unexplained reason “their eyes were prevented from recognizing him.”  Jesus teaches and interprets the scripture for them…..but they still don’t recognize him.  Arriving at Emmaus, Jesus acts as if he is going to continue on but the men urge him; “Stay with us”.    

And it happened that, while he was with them at table, he took bread, said the blessing, broke it, and gave it to them.  With that their eyes were opened and they recognized him but he vanished from their sight. Luke 24:30-31

What can you and I receive from this story as we journey through the unknown and the uncertain? 

Jesus comes to us as He did to those two travelers on the road to Emmaus.  The Word of God is present at Mass, in the Bibles that sit on our bookshelves and nightstands,  in the inspirational memes and messages we share via text or computer or phone.  What is he saying to us?  Can we hear him over conversations and debates concerning what got us here and what might help us safely to the other side?  Can we respond with the simple yet profound prayer in today's gospel? 

Jesus, stay with us.”  

One of the upsides to the current downside is that many of us have been given the gift of time and space.  With what do we refill that time and space?  

“Jesus, stay with us.”


Then they said to each other “Were not our hearts burning [within us] while he spoke to us on the way and opened the scriptures to us?”  Luke 24:32

Jesus, walk with me.  I will make time.
Jesus, speak to my heart.  I am listening.
Jesus, fill my heart.  It is open.  
Jesus, stay with me.

From a distance, but still blessed to be in ministry with you at St. Mary’s


“In the rush to return to normal, use this time to consider which parts are worth rushing back to”

Dave Hollis

Friday, April 17, 2020

Hallelujah Is Our Song

“Hallelujah Is Our Song”

I think in songs.  Most every phrase I hear and picture I see;
is hyperlinked to a song in my brain.

Thankfully, God has given me reasonably strong impulse
control which helps me resist the urge of breaking into song
like a chorus member in musical theater.

For the past 30 days (I’m writing this on April 2nd)
I have suppressed a particular song because it contains a word
I can not say.  For a church musician, saying “Hallelujah”
during Lent is like a catcher reminding a pitcher that he
needs one more out for a perfect game.

The song was written by Sarah Hart and is titled “Hallelujah, Is Our Song”. 
Whew.  I feel so much better now that I’ve finally said it!

Here is the first verse:

What hope we have
These four words make my heart smile. 
The hyperlink in my brain takes me to a video. 
I see myself sitting at the piano in St. Mary’s. 
I see and hear members of the music ministry in the loft,
and at the cantor stand.  
I see you in the pews.
I follow additional hyperlinks which take me to the
thumbnails of individual singers and parishioners.  

Even in the darkest night
I’ve often thought of how difficult the middle of the night
is for our seniors. 
Recently, I have begun to experience my own version of this.
My time of rising has moved from 7am to 5am.  

Could the inability to fall asleep at night be the reason
our teens stay on their devices throughout the night?

For the light will overcome
I can hear George Carlin doing Al Sleet:
The Hippy Dippy Weatherman:

“Tonight’s forecast……..dark…….continued dark tonight
…….followed by partly light in the morning.

We will not fear, for we know the sun will rise
Morning comes.  Another day. Another breath. 
A fresh cup of coffee.
Funny how a time of loss can remind us
to be grateful for things often taken for granted.

Hallelujah, is our song
Hallelujah IS our song because the SON did rise! 
Jesus, IS risen! 
Even in this wounded world, where the battle rages on. 
We do not fear, for we know who heals our souls.
Hallelujah is our song!

Longing for the day we can sing Hallelujah together
in St. Mary’s,


Why won't you be my neighbor?

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