Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Life and Death and Resurrection

I've often wondered how Easter might be different in the southern hemisphere.  In Australia right now, it is autumn.  In the southern part of the continent, the leaves are dying on the trees, the days are getting shorter, and the temperatures are dropping.  Everyone is preparing for the long winter ahead.  In the midst of the dying of the season, Christians are walking through Lent, towards Easter.  Ahead lies the deepest part of truly stands hard as iron, and the promise of resurrection is still months away.  

Here, of course, is the opposite.  Our Ash Wednesday service is often held while it is still snowy, and the days are windy and cold.  But, by the time we reach Easter, spring is in full bloom. The days are longer, the air is warmer, and truly, we have survived another long winter.  Resurrection surrounds us.  

Of course, this points out that context matters.  Where we stand makes a difference in how we perceive the Easter message.  Sometimes, resurrection comes quickly, as it does here in the northern hemisphere.  But sometimes, there is yet a long winter ahead before the sun once again rises higher in the sky each day.  As a church family, we each stand in different places during this season.  For some, the renewed vigor of the earth is symbolic of the new life within us.  But for some, there is yet time needed.  Resurrection will come, the sun will rise higher in the sky, but our souls must linger for a while in the close darkness of winter.  

Each of us experiences resurrection in our own time.  Don't hurry it,  it will come.   The sun will rise, the son will rise.  All that is needed is patience.  

Pastor Jim 

Wednesday, April 06, 2011

Virtual Choir

Eric Whitacre's Lux Arumque, a bloody difficult piece to sing when you're all in the same room.  This is just cool.  All the singers are at home, recording their own performance.  Whitacre sent them the music, and a conducting video, and instructions about how to record and send it in.  A new one will be posted tomorrow.

Sunday, April 03, 2011

The Naming of Cats

Posted for my friends Beth and Josh, who are about to become kitten parents.  

The Naming Of Cats by T. S. Eliot
The Naming of Cats is a difficult matter,
It isn't just one of your holiday games;
You may think at first I'm as mad as a hatter
When I tell you, a cat must have THREE DIFFERENT NAMES.
First of all, there's the name that the family use daily,
Such as Peter, Augustus, Alonzo or James,
Such as Victor or Jonathan, George or Bill Bailey--
All of them sensible everyday names.
There are fancier names if you think they sound sweeter,
Some for the gentlemen, some for the dames:
Such as Plato, Admetus, Electra, Demeter--
But all of them sensible everyday names.
But I tell you, a cat needs a name that's particular,
A name that's peculiar, and more dignified,
Else how can he keep up his tail perpendicular,
Or spread out his whiskers, or cherish his pride?
Of names of this kind, I can give you a quorum,
Such as Munkustrap, Quaxo, or Coricopat,
Such as Bombalurina, or else Jellylorum-
Names that never belong to more than one cat.
But above and beyond there's still one name left over,
And that is the name that you never will guess;
The name that no human research can discover--
But THE CAT HIMSELF KNOWS, and will never confess.
When you notice a cat in profound meditation,
The reason, I tell you, is always the same:
His mind is engaged in a rapt contemplation
Of the thought, of the thought, of the thought of his name:
His ineffable effable
Deep and inscrutable singular Name.