Sunday, January 14, 2007

January 14: Church

Ropes blocked off the pews in the back 3/4 of the sanctuary, urging the hearty few to sit close to the front. The room seemed larger than it is. There were too few people to dampen the sounds of laughter and spirited conversation. The ceiling extended high above the tallest of those gathered. There was no symbol to adorn the walls or chancel, save the tall, clear windows on the sides, and the table in the rear of the chancel with flowers and two single candles on either side. A large, arched window in the front opened to the world beyond the walls of the church.

The soft, intricate sounds of acoustic guitar closed the space and brought us nearer to each other. I stared out the window. Evergreen gave way to the scribbled limbs of bare trees that reached high into the white sky. Power lines crossed at various angles, adding imperfection to the perfect grid of the window. A sheering curtain of sleet and freezing rain fell, gradually gathering on the limbs and lines, coating them and threatening to weigh them down with the ice that collected. And in the quiet of the sanctuary I heard these words lifted on a soft tenor voice:

Far beyond the grasp of hands,
or light to meet the eye,
past the reaches of the mind
There find the key to nature's harmony
in an architecture so entwined.
Like the birds, whose patterns grace the sky
and carry all who join in love expanding,
The message of peace will rise in flight
taking the weight of the world upon its wings,
With the oneness of everything.

Peace is in the dance of trees
who stir before the first breath of wind
is yet perceived
Trust in the song, becoming one with the dance,
and all mysteries can be believed.
Like the sorrow of the clouds,
whose tears fall caring on the soil undemanding,
Lessons of love are giv'n that we
might rejoice in the music they bring
Of the oneness of everything.

From the chords that sound of molecules,
spinning billions to a cell,
the call resounds afar,
To the sun who warms the dancing earth,
and whose song
holds it close on the journey of a star.
Songs of lives long past who touch our own
are written in the earth forever giving.
And now to maintain the harmony
gives to us all lives worth living
In the oneness of everything.

Still we seek to find a truth
that we might understand,
and reduce to terms defined
Vast and immeasurable time and space
all so overwhelmingly designed.
Oh passing years, just might I know the faith
that winters in the heart
to be reborn in Spring.
To hear and to feel the pulse of life
enters my soul as a song to sing,
Of the oneness of everything.*

*Words from the song "The Oneness of Everything," by Jim Scott who sang and played in our worship service this morning.


jo(e) said...

I love the inclusion of the trees, the sky, and the weather. Nice.

Linda (FM) said...

Jo(e)- one of the things I love about this church is that it is designed to encourage people to look outside and incorporate what they see in worship. I think stained glass is beautiful and it, too, adds an element of beauty to worship, but for me, the clear glass with curtains open speaks volumes about how this church rejects the strict separation of sacred and secular. I'm working on a post about that for the other blog.