From time to time my life just rushes on and it seems that friday comes right after monday.
We are having a bit of a hard time and I admit, we are not coping all that well.
At the same time, the world is in a bad state and need attention as well. In todays sermon I thought about the fact that we are surrounded by announcements, statements, warnings, appeals, political speaches, headlines. We are scared, downhearted, sad, angry, in despair, guilty. And at the same time you can never know what headline will be altered in the morning, what astonishing news will be gone by evening, what everlasting truths will be lies ever so shortly. We are tired of all these disasters and terrors, endlessly shouted at us.
We need to hear about something solid and good, something comforting that will stay the same tomorrow and the next day. We need statements and proclamations that can carry us however the wind may change.
This sunday ended the Midsummerweekend, it's the sunday of John the Baptist. It's the proclamation of the solid rock, the Salvation and the neverchanging Resurrection. The Lord IS God, and no one else, the Saviour IS born, the Kingdom is real, the Covenant is real.
I for one need to hear that kind of proclamation, otherwise my soul will get tired by the suffering of people arround me and perhaps my heart will turn elsewhere and get cold.
But if I know that God is on our side, never letting go, I can let that knowledge carry me through the dark times. And pray that it can comfort others!
Zacharia, Johns father, is giving voice and words to the joy he feels about this son of his, God keeps his promises so that everyone will know it and see it. It's a wonderful song.
In Sweden, we don't speak much of John the baptist, but we celebrate midsummer, both in church and in our homes, you can read about it in my post from last year:
If you want to know more about the Summer solstice, check with the Heron, he is the expert on that!!
This weekend I had one marriage, two christenings, one high mass and two services with lots of music. I am a bit tired. We've had such funny weather too, for long we heard warnings everyday about the water, now the rain got back and so we are good again.
The wedding was interesting, the bride was from Thailand and her sister sang for us, a song about land and family and speaking to your loved ones about worries and joys. Amazing singing technique!!! After that wedding I stood in the pouring rain talking to the couple who wants their wedding to be in the harbour beneath a certain tree, we decided there would be no rain on that actual day.......
Last weekend also was interesting and indeed a very pleasant event. Our choirleader in church turned 60 in february and that has caused him lots of agony. To cheer himself up he decided to give the parish something from his heart and as he has served in 40 years he set up for a 100 year jubilee. The churchchoir turned 80 three years ago and I wrote a song for that occasion but since it never was finished I took help from a colleague and finished it now. I just wanted him to have it , but he actually wanted to use it so, oh dear, the choir sang it on that Jubilee concert. So he started out with Bach from the powerful church organ and then three different choirs took turns in the singing, we had amazing solos from several persons, by voice, by trumpet, by harmonica, by violin..... oh, what blessed times!!! The church was filled to the brim! Praise was sung, carefully chosen songs, Mozart, Beethoven, Bach, Swedish composers( and me!). You can see a picture above!!
We closed with "Abide with me", varying between solo, trumpet, violin, choir and the entire congregation . I heard now that we had it recorded and if we are lucky it's good so we can get a copy each. I wish I knew how to bring it to you, but I don't.
We need to share both good and bad, we need to take part of both darkness and light. The terrible disasters that shake the world right now and have done so for a long time, are enough to discourage anyone, but there are so many heartwarming occasions in the middle of all this, that you still find it possible to carry on.
Since we are going to London again this year, we are following the news with great care.
But we know that terror hits everywhere, in Stockholm we experienced it for the first time.
I feel downhearted about the Grenfell , all those people, and for what gain?? But now we hear they are taking action all over the UK. 600 houses just like that one...600???!!!! Only in the UK? What about the rest of the world? Hurry, lifes can be saved!!
It's too late for those poor souls , but hopefully there have been lessons to learn. No more.
WE have to come to many of those NO more and NEVER again!! At least we have to try taking charge of what we actually can do! So much to do, so much knowledge to be used, so much experience to weigh in before we decide, so much concern to take, so fragile is the human life and so strong. We are no fools, we know what is right, we have the tools. So as far as it is our responsibility, when things are within our reach and we have the means to do right, then we must do it. And while we raise our voices for action, we can take care of those in need, the love and care between people when times are dark, is the most hopeful proof that the words from the Scripture today - are valid and solid. God hasn't abandoned his people - so love still remains among us - we can see it with our own eyes!!
And as a small token of bright days: some pictures from two weeks ago:
|We went for a small excursion in the Osterlen county, this is the Chapel of Knäbeck. It can hold 20 if you stand tight...|
|Churchwarden Peter trying the belltower|