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The Melody of Lent

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  This is day three of opening our hearts and soul to Yiruma, a South Korea-born piano player.   I recently learned that his father is a pastor, and he began studying the piano at age 5.   I am always amazed watching his finger fly effortlessly across all 88 keys on the piano.   I am also a bit envious wishing I could do that because the sounds he brings forth speak and sing to me.   Remember, the invitation this week is to listen not only critically, but creatively.   Not to write a review of what we are hearing, but to see what is renewed within you.   On Monday, I gave you this prayer practice: ·         First, listen one time through the entire piece.   Pay attention to any emotion that is evoked or provoked from the piece. ·         Second, listen again, this time you may want to imagine a story that goes along with this piece of music – or write down words that stir and swirl in response.   One day this week, you may want to get out your crayons or colored pencils connecting

The Melody of Lent

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  This week we are letting Yiruma, a South Korea-born piano player, guide us.   We are listening not as an objective observer; not from a distance or being disconnected; not for whether we even “like” or what to give a frownie face to the piece, but we are being enfolded and held by each note.   Yesterday I gave you this prayer practice: ·         First, listen one time through the entire piece.   Pay attention to any emotion that is evoked or provoked from the piece. ·         Second, listen again, this time you may want to imagine a story that goes along with this piece of music – or write down words that stir and swirl in response.   One day this week, you may want to get out your crayons or colored pencils connecting your hand to the melody of the music. ·         Third, enter a period of silence.   Attend, pay attention to the reverberations of both the music of Yiruma and the response from your soul sit side-by-side.   What awakens within your awareness of this moment?  

The Melody of Lent

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  This week I invite you to lean in and listen to Yiruma, a South Korea-born piano player, whose music I find soulful and soothing.   As the notes of his instrumental pieces wash over you, I invite you each day to this prayer practice: ·         First, listen one time through the entire piece.   Pay attention to any emotion that is evoked or provoked from the piece. ·         Second, listen again, this time you may want to imagine a story that goes along with this piece of music – or write down words that stir and swirl in response.   One day this week, you may want to get out your crayons or colored pencils connecting your hand to the melody of the music. ·         Third, enter a period of silence.   Attend, pay attention to the reverberations of both the music of Yiruma and the response from your soul sit side-by-side.   What awakens within your awareness of this moment?   The first piece from Yiruma is entitled, Kiss the Rain .   I invite you to click on the link above and e

The Melody of Lent

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  Today, I want to offer space for you to name and notice your learnings this week. What was one pain you identified? What was one balm that seems to help/heal right now? How did this Spiritual, There is a Balm in Gilead, sing to your soul? What questions do you have?   Sit with this hymn, letting the words and melody hover and hang within you and around you.   And may you sense more than a trace of God’s grace every day.   Amen.

The Melody of Lent

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  There is a balm in Gilead To make the wounded whole There is a balm in Gilead To heal the wounded soul Rev. Howard Thurman once wrote of this Spiritual, “The peculiar genius of the Negro slave [song] is revealed here in much of its structural splendor. The setting is the book of Jeremiah. The prophet has come to a “Dead Sea” place in his life. Not only is he discouraged over the external events in the life of Israel, but he is also spiritually depressed and tortured. [Wounded,] he cried out, ‘Is there no balm in Gilead? Is no physician there?’ It is not a question of fact that he is raising—it is not a question directed to any particular person for an answer. It is not addressed either to God or to Israel, but rather it is a question raised by Jeremiah’s entire life. He is searching his own soul . He is stripped to the literal substance of himself, and is turned back on himself for an answer. Jeremiah is saying actually, “There must be a balm in Gilead; it cannot be that there is n

The Melody of Lent

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If you can't pray like Peter If you can't preach like Paul Go home and tell your neighbor He died to save us all Yesterday, we talked about prayer.  Prayer is one of those topics that gets tossed and thrown around.  Beyond saying that you should pray, do we ever try to describe what prayer feels like?  Sounds like?  Smells or tastes like?  Prayer is more than folding your hands and bowing your head.  Prayer is more than a monologue we lob at God.  Prayer is an encounter and experience of the divine. Re-read that last sentence again, please. An encounter, a sense that the Spirit is hovering and hanging around.  We trust the holy is near. An experience, something we can taste or touch or hear or feel. Of the divine – that God is everywhere. Prayer happens all the time in our lives.  Prayer can be brushing your teeth, eating, walking, sitting in silence, listening to music, talking to a friend, reading the Bible or a book.  You can fill in the blank of other moments. At the heart

The Melody of Lent

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  Sometimes I feel discouraged, and think my work's in vain, ( or I have also seen this second line, “And deep I feel the pain”) but then the Holy Spirit revives my soul again. When in the last week did the above words feel like the soundtrack for your soul?   Where do the words above give expression to an experience you are having?   We live in a world where it is easy to be discourage and deep within feel an ache and pain and wonder if what we are doing is making a difference. Pandemic; polarization in our politics; personal problems that wake us up in the middle of the night for a chat; discrimination all its vast variety of shapes and sizes.   The 24-hour-news cycle perpetuates this sense that there is always “Breaking News”…and that if you don’t know about it immediately, well, then you must not care.   Turn on whatever news channel, there are at least five different stories your brain is forced to process.   The crawl across the bottom (which is a relatively new phenomen