Friday, April 17, 2009

Rainbow Lent

Rainbow Lent
Originally uploaded by paynehollow
This Lenten and Easter season, we are celebrating in colors at Jeff Street. Each week, we worshiped in living color (as seen below) and this Easter Day, we celebrated with a type dye rainbow swirl of rejoicing. Christ is risen!

Where man sees but withered leaves, God sees sweet flowers growing.

~Albert Laighton

Awake, thou wintry earth -
Fling off thy sadness!
Fair vernal flowers, laugh forth
Your ancient gladness!

~Thomas Blackburn, "An Easter Hymn"

See the land, her Easter keeping,
Rises as her Maker rose.
Seeds, so long in darkness sleeping,
Burst at last from winter snows.
Earth with heaven above rejoices...

~Charles Kingsley

'Twas Easter-Sunday. The full-blossomed trees
Filled all the air with fragrance and with joy.

~Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, "Spanish Student"

I think of the garden after the rain;
And hope to my heart comes singing,
At morn the cherry-blooms will be white,
And the Easter bells be ringing!

~Edna Dean Proctor, "Easter Bells"

Monday, April 13, 2009

Happy Easter

Friday, April 10, 2009

Green Lent

Green Lent 3
Originally uploaded by paynehollow
My dear friend, Sue, introduced me to the concept of reading wedding and obituary listings just for the joy of seeing what might be seen. One of the things that I really look forward to when I do this are weird/interesting name combinations (like, what if they hyphenated their names when they got married?).

I have noticed names like the Muell-Skinner wedding, the Hardy-Harr wedding, and I'm forgetting others.

Here's another example, I had a friend growing up whose sister's name was Pam. Pam Burger. And it got worse: She married a guy named King (Pam Burger-King?).

Anyway, I like to watch for fun name groupings.

Once a few years back, our wonderful bicycling buddy, Jackie Green appeared in a news story about the problems with having too many cars prowling around, the pollution, the dangers, etc.

In the news story, they were quoting our environmentalist friend Jackie to represent one side of the story and they found a fella who worked for government who talked about why we ought to be expanding our roads to allow for more and more cars. This guy's last name was - wait for it - Carr.

And so you had Green vs Carr in a story about about just that.

I loved the irony.

This Easter, I think it is quite easy for us to find God in the color Green. It is all about us. It is what gives us life in a very fundamental way. We eat Green, we live in a Green and Blue world, we breathe deep green cleansing breaths when we find ourselves outside in this Holy Creation. Thanks be to God.

And the wrens have returned and they're nesting
In the hollow of that oak where his heart once had been
And he lifts up his arms in a blessing for being born again
And the streams are all swollen with winter
Winter unfrozen and free to run away now
And I'm amazed when I remember
Who it was that built this house
And with the rocks I cry out

Be praised for all Your tenderness by these works of Your hands
Suns that rise and rains that fall to bless and bring to life Your land
Look down upon this winter wheat and be glad that You have made
Blue for the sky and the color green that fills these fields with praise

~The Color Green, Rich Mullins

Wednesday, April 01, 2009

Blue Lent

Blue Lent 1
Originally uploaded by paynehollow
This Lenten season, we are celebrating in colors at Jeff Street. Each week, we'll worship in living color and this week's was blue, which reminded me of the poem by our own Kate, about the blue heron and the poverty all about us...

Between These Worlds
Kate Sanders

The fog has lifted off the lake.
Only a thin mist still swirls
along the surface of the water.
The sun lights the red and yellow leaves.

In Clarksdale,
shots ring out over the early morning traffic.

At the edge of the lake,
a blue heron crouches, lifts his wings,
then beating, beating, steadily moves
his great blue body across the water
to a sunny rock.

In Clarksdale,
shots ring out over the early morning traffic
and a two year old is struck by a bullet
while sitting in his stroller.

I sit here by a crackling fire
Somehow caught between these worlds.

The great blue heron shakes the damp mist
off his feathers and stoops low, lower,
and leaps into the air.

He flies northeast
over trees and fields and interstates
until high above the city
he circles, searching.
He settles slowly, like a single feather,
into the heart of Clarksdale
onto the edge of a housing project rooftop.
He stands there, wings outstretched,
above a mother who sits crying
holding her wounded boy.