Just because

Next to the Word of God,
the noble art of music
is the greatest treasure in the world.

Attributed to Martin Luther

Music continues to shape us, inspire us, humble us, thrill us, and so much more as humans and as Christ-followers. Music is a treasure we carry with us and share. “Sacred” music is everywhere, not just in church. Many of us in the Sunday Morning Forum (in the meeting room and online) meet God, dance with God, enjoy God, share God in ‘the noble art of music.’

Here is a recent discovery we share with you. Enjoy:

Continue the conversation, please share a comment. And, if you know the source of the Martin Luther quotation, I/we would like to be informed via your comment. Thanks.

Hail Thee, Festival Day

In many churches, including Episcopal churches, the Day of Pentecost is a day to sing “Hail Thee, Festival Day” with joy and thanksgiving. The hymn is often used on Easter, the Feast of the Ascension, and Pentecost. Here is a version shared on Easter (but sure to get you into the joy of Pentecost, listen for the verse beginning “Spirit of life and of power”):

Want to know more about the hymn? Check out Hymnary.org for this particular version of the hymn.

Do you have a favorite “Pentecost Hymn”? Let us know in the Comment section.

Wind Chimes: 25 Jan 2013 — Day 8

A Week of Prayer for Christian Unity

Readings for Day Eight — Walking in celebration

Habakkuk 3:17-19 | Celebrating in a time of hardship
Psalm 100 | The worship of God through all the earth
Philippians 4:4-9 | Rejoice in the Lord always
Luke 1:46-55 | The Song of Mary

Quote . . .To walk humbly with God means to walk in celebration. The visitor to India is struck by the hardships and struggles endured by Dalits, but at the same time by their sense of hope and celebration. 2013-WPCU-Readings-and-Prayers

Prayer on Day Eight

2013 Week of Prayer (Cover)Gracious God, may your Holy Spirit fill our communities with joy and celebration, so that we can cherish the unity we already share, and zealously continue in the search for visible unity. We rejoice in the faith and hope of peoples who refuse to allow their dignity to be diminished, seeing in them your wonderful grace and your promise of freedom. Teach us to share in their joy and learn from their faithful endurance. Rekindle our hope and sustain our resolve, that in Christ‘s name we may walk together in love, raising a united voice of praise, and singing together one prayer of adoration. God of life, lead us to justice and peace. Amen.

divider lineImage: School of Theology & Ministry, Seattle University

Wind Chimes: 03 Jan 2013

On that day: The deaf will hear the words of a scroll and, freed from dimness and darkness, the eyes of the blind will see. The poor will again find joy in the Lord, and the neediest of people will rejoice in the holy one of Israel.

Isaiah 29:18-19 CEB

Today, January 3rd, the Episcopal Church remembers William Passavant (October 9, 1821 – January 3, 1894).

William Passavant was a Pennsylvania Lutheran pastor who left an uncommonly rich legacy of service. He was driven by a desire to see the consequences of the Gospel worked out in practical ways in the lives of people in need. For Passavant, the church’s commitment to the Gospel must not be spiritual only. It must be visible. For him, it was essential that Gospel principles were worked out in clear missionary actions.

Learn more about William Passavant on Holy Women, Holy Men

In the Collect we ask God, the Compassionate, to “inspire us by his example, that we may be tireless to address the wants of all who are sick and friendless….”

One of the goals of the Sunday Morning Forum is to hear the Spirit calling us to such service and gracing us to serve to the welfare of others and the glory of God. The chimes sound, “you are called to serve.” What do you hear?

Additional information about William Passavant on Wikipedia

Wind Chimes: 29 Dec 2012

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God,
and the Word was God.

And the Word became flesh and lived among us, and we have seen his glory, the glory as of a father’s only son, full of grace and truth.

View the lyrics, music, and background for this Hymn.

The chimes sound like a dialogue tonight. The Spirit-wind creates all that is, seen and unseen. We respond in song. What do you hear?

Wind Chimes: 28 Dec 2012

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God,
and the Word was God.
[…]

And the Word became flesh and lived among us, and we have seen his glory, the glory as of a father’s only son, full of grace and truth.

John 1:1, 14 NRSV

Holy Innocents Icon
Holy Innocents Icon, ca. 2010

When the magi had departed, an angel from the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream and said, “Get up. Take the child and his mother and escape to Egypt. Stay there until I tell you, … When Herod knew the magi had fooled him, he grew very angry. He sent soldiers to kill all the male children in Bethlehem and in all the surrounding territory who were two years old and younger, according to the time that he had learned from the magi.

Matthew 2:13, 16 CEB
From the Gospel read on the Feast of the Holy Innocents,
December 28th

Remembering Holy Innocents, December 28

The merriment of Christmas and the profound mystery proclaimed by John (John 1:1ff) are in stark contrast to the brutal events perpetrated by Herod (Matthew 2:13ff), the violent slaughter in Newtown, CT, and daily reports of the death of children (0–17) due to abuse, neglect, and violence.

John Thatamanil, is an Associate Professor of Theology and World Religions at Union Theological Seminary in New York and is a member of St. Augustine’s Episcopal Chapel at Vanderbilt. Yesterday (12/27/12) he posted an essay “Christmas in Newtown and Bethlehem.” In it, he speaks to the contrast and its meaning for us who seek to follow Christ:

Quote . . .The slaughter of innocents and the birth of a child in excruciating vulnerability — this is a profoundly counterintuitive way to speak of God’s coming. Unlike the light and unblemished merriness that we wish each other every Christmas, the Bible offers no happily-ever-after fairy tale. The world into which the Christian Messiah enters is shattered by terror and ruled by Roman imperial power and its client dictators.
The Gospel narratives suggest that the coming of God does not (then or now) undo our capacity to inflict violence upon each other nor does it radically reconfigure the conditions under which we live out our lives. On the contrary, these very conditions, in all their fragility, are sanctified by incarnation. When God assumes flesh and enters the world, this very world is accepted and embraced.

God does not first remake the world in order to enter it, and entering the world does not diminish the dignity of divinity. The incarnation affirms that our fragility and frailty are not contrary to divine intention. Rather, they too are taken up by divinity when God becomes flesh. This world, as it stands, offers the necessary conditions for love and community. The coming of God as a child affirms that this fragile world is as it ought to be.

God does not come to eradicate vulnerability but to teach us how to welcome it. Love comes to open our eyes to look for holiness not in might and power, not in any futile attempt to secure ourselves against each other by force of arms, but precisely in our delicate bonds with each other.

I invite you to read his entire essay on The Huffington Post.

The wind blows. The sounds from the chimes burst out like merriment, then jangle in discord, and then are silent. All this happens in the space of minutes. What do you hear?

Icon: Suzanne Zoole commissioned by The Rev. Michael Sullivan and Holy Innocents Episcopal Church in Atlanta, GA. About the icon.

Wind Chimes: 27 Dec 2012

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God,
and the Word was God.
[…]

And the Word became flesh and lived among us, and we have seen his glory, the glory as of a father’s only son, full of grace and truth.

John 1:1, 14 NRSV

These words from the “Prologue of John” (John 1:1-18) will be proclaimed this Sunday (12/30/12) in our worship. Today, December 27th, is the day the Church remembers (St.) John the Evangelist, the ‘author’ of these familiar words. Perhaps, if he were to ‘write’ his Good News today, he might present it differently:

The wind moves the chimes mysteriously and the sounds constantly amaze and delight. What do you hear?

Video: Bryan Bilac on YouTube

Wind Chimes: 25 Dec 2012

  Click to play the Christ Child’s Lullaby

Wind Chimes: 24 Dec 2012

A Christmas Eve present. Today, the chimes sound like “Ode to joy.”

About the video

For their 130th anniversary, Spanish finance group BancSabadell commissioned a symphony orchestra flash mob at a city square in Sabadell, Spain. The Vallès Symphony Orchestra, the choirs of Lieder, Friends of l’Opera and the Choral Belles Arts performed beautifully in this month old video that already (July 1, 2012) has over 460,000 views

Wind Chimes: 11 Nov 2012

It is right, and a good and joyful thing always and everywhere to give thanks to you Father Almighty, Creator of heaven and earth …

Prayer beginning our Great Thanksgiving

Many of us will gather to offer “thanks and praise” to God today. All of us, as we are reminded in this video, are invited to welcome the gift of a new day with gratitude, with thanks and praise. We are further invited to share the gift as a blessing. As we give thanks today, let us especially take every opportunity to thank our Veterans for their service to us and to our country. Furthermore, let us put our words into actions throughout the year as we make sure our Veterans, our wounded Veterans in particular, are cared for by a grateful nation.

The chimes sound blessings today? What do you hear? How will you respond? ~dan

A prayer for Veterans

God of compassion,
God of dignity and strength,
Watch over the veterans of the United States
In recognition of their loyal service to our nation.
Bless them with wholeness and love.
Shelter them.
Heal their wounds,
Comfort their hearts.
Grant them peace.

God of justice and truth,
Rock of our lives,
Bless our veterans,
These men and women of courage and valor,
With a deep and abiding understanding
Of our profound gratitude.
Protect them and their families from loneliness and want.
Grant them lives of joy and bounty.
May their dedication and honor
Be remembered as a blessing
From generation to generation.

Blessed are You,
Protector and Redeemer,
Our Shield and our Stronghold.

© 2011 Alden Solovy and www.tobendlight.com via Beliefnet.com
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Video: TED on WordPress