Wind Chimes: 17 Dec 2012

Better to light one candle than to curse the darkness.

Those little Advent candles sure have a lot of darkness to overcome this year.  —Rachel Held Evans

Even in the darkness the wind swirls and blows and the chimes sound. In the dark, what do you hear?

God can’t be kept out – the Good News we hear in the darkness

Rachel Held Evans begins her post this way:

Those little Advent candles sure have a lot of darkness to overcome this year. I see them glowing from church windows and on TV, in homes and at midnight vigils, here in Dayton and in Sandy Hook. Their stubborn flames represent the divine promise that even the smallest light can chase away the shadows lurking in this world, that even in the darkest places, God can’t be kept out.

Later she moves to the ‘rumor’ she ‘calls out’ in the rest of her post:

We all grieve in different ways, and we must be patient with one another as we do, but there is a rumor floating around among the people of God that is so vile, so dangerous and untrue, it simply must be called out. It’s a rumor that began long before the shots rang out at Sandy Hook and long before this Advent season.

It’s the rumor that God can be chased out.

I will say my “AMEN” to her proclamation now and encourage you to read her post, God can’t be kept out. She indeed states, eloquently, what I believe and what I try to proclaim in my own stumbling way.

“God with us.” Amen: may it be as we say and even more than we imagine. ~dan

More about Rachel Held Evans

Links to online Advent Calendars

Even in tragedy, Advent continues. Perhaps this event will demand that we better incorporate the Advent spirituality into our daily lives. ~dan

Each of these has a different approach. Find one that helps you “prepare the way.” Find one that helps you focus on God as you make your way into the loving arms of God.

Trinity Wall Street Online Advent Calendar

Busted Halo Online Advent Calendar

CREDO Online Advent Calendar

Image: Armin Vogel on Flickr

Wind Chimes: 15 Dec 2012

Lit candles, ascending prayers

Even in a silence like death, the chimes sound.
We hear them in our hearts.

What do you hear?

For the children of Newtown

Author of life
Source and Creator,
Grant a perfect rest under Your tabernacle of peace
To the victims of the massacre
In Newtown, Connecticut,
Children whose lives were cut off by violence,
All who fell at the hand of anger,
A rampage beyond understanding.
The future was severed.
Hopes, joys and dreams
Lost to brutality.
May their souls be bound up in the bond of life,
A living blessing in our midst.
May they rest in peace.

G-d of mercy,
Remember, too, the survivors of this attack,
Parents,
Sisters and brothers,
Witnesses of shock, horror and dismay.
Ease their suffering and release their trauma.
Grant them endurance to survive,
Strength to rebuild,
Faith to mourn,
And courage to heal,
So that they recover lives of joy and wonder.

Remember the families and friends
Of the dead and the bereaved
With comfort and consolation.
Grant them Your protection,
Your wholeness and healing.
May they find hope and grace.

Heavenly Guide,
Source of love,
Guard the children of Newtown.
Grant them Your shelter and solace,
Blessing and renewal.
Put an end to anger, hatred and fear
And lead us to a time when
No one will suffer at the hand of another,
Speedily, in our day.

© 2012 Alden Solovy and www.tobendlight.com. All rights reserved.

Read Alden Solovy’s introduction to his prayer.

The author of this prayer, Alden Solovy, “is a liturgist, poet, teacher, editor and writing coach, … he’s a father ….” Alden is Jewish and opens to me the rich poetry of prayer that is the heritage of the Jewish Faith. He posts regularly to his blog, To Bend Light. I recommend his blog to you. This prayer/post contains links to other prayers (“sadly” he laments) written after other recent mass slayings.  ~dan

Links to online Advent Calendars

Even in tragedy, Advent continues. Perhaps this event will demand that we better incorporate the Advent spirituality into our daily lives. ~dan

Each of these has a different approach. Find one that helps you “prepare the way.” Find one that helps you focus on God as you make your way into the loving arms of God.

Trinity Wall Street Online Advent Calendar

Busted Halo Online Advent Calendar

CREDO Online Advent Calendar

Image: The Candles Spot

Wind Chimes: 1 Nov 2012

Revelation 5:8 presents the saints in heaven as linked by prayer with their fellow Christians on earth.

… you are no longer strangers and aliens,
but you are citizens with the saints
and also members of the household of God …

Ephesians 2:19 NRSV

Today is All Saints’ Day. A great day to remember those in every ago and circumstance, known to many, known only to a few, or known only to you, who have helped (or are helping) shape your faith, your service, and your love. ~dan

The chimes are glorious with sounds today. What do you hear?

We believe … in the communion of saints …

What is the communion of saints?

The communion of saints is the whole family of God the living and the dead, those whom we love and those whom we hurt, bound together in Christ by sacrament, prayer, and praise.

“An Outline of the Faith,” The Book of Common Prayer, p. 862

The companionship of the dead

Quote . . .As we grow older we have more and more people to remember, people who have died before us. It is very important to remember those who have loved us and those we have loved. Remembering them means letting their spirits inspire us in our daily lives. They can become part of our spiritual communities and gently help us as we make decisions on our journeys. Parents, spouses, children, and friends can become true spiritual companions after they have died. Sometimes they can become even more intimate to us after death than when they were with us in life.

Remembering the dead is choosing their ongoing companionship.

Nouwen, Henri J. M. (2009-03-17). Bread for the Journey: A Daybook of Wisdom and Faith (p. 252, August 29). Harper Collins, Inc.. Kindle Edition.

I sing a song of the saints of God

I sing a song of the Saints of God sung by the Choir of Grace Cathedral, San Francisco to the tune “Grand Isle”. From the album “Hymns of Grace”~

St. John on Patmos: Wikimedia Commons