Beauty and Breaking

Wind in the Chimes: A meditation on John 12:1-8

What does love smell like?  What does hope smell like?  What does resurrection smell like?  On this fifth Sunday of Lent, as we draw closer to Jesus’s final week, and prepare to contemplate his suffering, we’re invited into a story of the senses.  A story of love enacted in fragrance.

All four Gospels tell it — the story of a woman who kneels at Jesus’s feet, breaks an alabaster jar filled with priceless perfume, and dares to love Jesus in the flesh. 

Debbie Thomas Lectionary Essay for Lent 5C on Journey with Jesus webzine

Be inspired to find your own answers to the questions posed by Debie Thomas, one of my favorite teachers, on a favorite website, Journey with Jesus.

Consider Debie’s reflection on the embodiment of love provided by Mary of Bethany to you and me all these centuries later:

What happens between Jesus and Mary in this narrative happens skin to skin. Mary doesn’t need to use words; her yearning, her worship, her gratitude, and her love are enacted wholly through her body.  Just as Jesus later breaks bread with his disciples, Mary breaks open the jar in her hands, allowing its contents to pour freely over Jesus’s feet.  Just as Jesus later washes his disciples’ feet to demonstrate what radical love looks like, Mary expresses her love with her hands and her hair.  Just as Jesus later offers up his broken body for the healing of all, Mary offers up a costly breaking in order to demonstrate her love for her Lord.

Beauty and Breaking a Lectionary Essay by Debie Thomas
Read the full essay here: Beauty and Breaking

More

About Wind in the Chimes

Wind in the Chimes (renaming and a reintroduction of Wind Chimes, 7/21/20)

Wind Chimes: September 25 2012 (an introduction)

Image: “Mary of Bethany” Print by contemporary artist Yvette Rock

Come my Way, my Truth, my Life

Wind in the Chimes

Come, my Way, my Truth, my Life: 
Such a way as gives us breath; 
Such a truth as ends all strife, 
Such a life as killeth death.

These words are the first stanza of a poem by George Herbert (1593-1633). See the complete poem and a short essay about George Herbert on the Journey with Jesus website (one of my favorites sites for inspiration). The Episcopal Church remembers and commemorates George Herbert annually on February 27th.

Take a moment to simply listen …

Hymn 487 in (The Episcopal) Hymnal 1982

1 
Come, my Way, my Truth, my Life:
such a way as gives us breath;
such a truth as ends all strife;
such a life as killeth death.

2 
Come, my Light, my Feast, my Strength:
such a light as shows a feast;
such a feast as mends in length;
such a strength as makes his guest.

3 
Come, my Joy, my Love, my Heart:
such a joy as none can move;
such a love as none can part;
such a heart as joys in love.

Text:  George Herbert
Music: The Call by Ralph Vaughn Williams

More

Come my Way, my Truth, my Life. on History of Hymns. Explore the hymn, the author, the tune, and other factors that create this hymn.

About Wind in the Chimes

In Christ there is no East or West

Wind in the Chimes

For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek; the same Lord is Lord of all and is generous to all who call on him. For, “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved.”

Romans 10:12-13 NRSV

As we come to the end of the week that began on the First Sunday in Lent, Year C, March 6, 2022, we recall that the Church read from Paul’s letter to the Romans (Romans 10:8b-13, see also Galatians 3:28).

At our best we continue to live the wisdom of Paul, making no distinction that separates us who “call on the name of the Lord” rather we promote union in “one great fellowship of love.” In Christ there is no East or West we celebrate this kinship:

Hymn 529 in (The Episcopal) Hymnal 1982

1 
In Christ there is no East or West, 
in him no South or North, 
but one great fellowship of love 
throughout the whole wide earth.

2 
Join hands, disciples of the faith, 
whate'er your race may be! 
Who serves my Father as his child 
is surely kin to me.

3 
In Christ now meet both East and West, 
in him meet South and North, 
all Christly souls are one in him, 
throughout the whole wide earth.

Text:  John Oxenham, 1852-1941 (alt.)

More

In Christ there is no East or West on History of Hymns. Explore the hymn, the author, the tune, and other factors that create this hymn.

About Wind in the Chimes

Lord, who throughout these forty days

Wind in the Chimes

Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit, returned from the Jordan and was led by the Spirit in the wilderness, where for forty days he was tempted by the devil. … When the devil had finished every test, he departed from him until an opportune time.

Luke 4:1-2, 13 NRSV

On the First Sunday in Lent, Year C, March 6, 2022, the Church read the account of the Temptation of Jesus according to Luke (Luke 4:1-13). Lord who throughout these forty days is a hymn for the season of Lent and, really, for every season of our lives as we walk with Jesus.

More

Lord who throughout these forty days on History of Hymns. Explore the hymn, the author, the tune, and other factors that create this favorite Lenten hymn.

Temptation (on Brother Give Us A Word a daily meditation offered by the Society of Saint John the Evangelist (SSJE) a religious order of the Episcopal Church.

Index Page of “words” offered by the SSJE Brothers

“Advent Birmingham is a diverse group of musicians who lead worship services in song on Sundays at Cathedral Church of The Advent in Birmingham, Alabama. They also write and record modern hymns of their own and set ancient Christian hymns and songs to modern settings.” (YouTube description) Here is their modern offering of this Lenten hymn:

About Wind in the Chimes

The Work of Forgiveness

Lectionary Essay for Epiphany +7C (Feb 20, 2022)

 If forgiveness isn’t denial or a detour, if forgiveness isn’t quick — then what is it?  What is Jesus asking of us when he invites us to love, bless, pray, give, lend, do good, withhold judgment, extend mercy, and turn the other cheek?

Lectionary Essay for Epiphany +7C by Debie Thomas on Journey with Jesus

A timely meditation by Debie Thomas, one of my favorite teachers, on a favorite website, Journey with Jesus. Here, Debie examines Jesus’ teaching we will hear on Sunday, February 20, 2022, from Luke 6:27-38.

She pays particular attention to “the rising tide of rage and meanness in our Covid-weary culture” and confesses that the readings appointed for Sunday cause her some discomfort. Why? She answers: “Because the readings are about forgiveness.  They are about the work of forgiveness, and the challenges they pose to our ‘shove or be shoved’ culture are daunting.”

I encourage you to read her essay. I encourage you to take to heart her exploration of Jesus’ teaching and, as you follow Jesus, please engage in the work of forgiveness.

More

Forgiveness (on Brother Give Us A Word a daily meditation offered by the Society of Saint John the Evangelist (SSJE) a religious order of the Episcopal Church.

Index Page of “words” offered by the SSJE Brothers

About Wind in the Chimes

Wind Chimes: September 25 2012 (an introduction)

Wind in the Chimes (renaming and a reintroduction of Wind Chimes, 7/21/20)

The Collect for Proper 11

A Wind in the Chimes meditation

Almighty God, the fountain of all wisdom, you know our necessities before we ask and our ignorance in asking: Have compassion on our weakness, and mercifully give us those things which for our unworthiness we dare not, and for our blindness we cannot ask; through the worthiness of your Son Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.

Collect for Proper 11, Book of Common Prayer, 1979, p. 231

This is a short meditation on the Collect for Proper 11 (July 19, 2020). It is my invitation to you to take the names and descriptions of God as your own prayer-starter or meditation. Listen also to our requests of God: “… have compassion on our weakness … mercifully give us (good, useful, helpful, wise gifts) those things which for our unworthiness (what does that admission do to you?) we dare not ask, and for our blindness (what are you not seeing?) cannot ask.”

More information

“The Collect: An Anglican/Episcopal Treasure” is a very fine description of this prayer form by C. Frederick Barbee and Paul F. M. Zahl in their book, The Collects of Thomas Cranmer.

Even more

Wind Chimes: September 25 2012 (an introduction)

Wind in the Chimes (renaming and reintroduction Wind Chimes, 7/21/20)

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