Come on up for the rising...

God has blessed me in a host of ways - and I am so aware of these blessings given the events of the last two days of my life that I just HAVE to sing, shout and return thanks! First, I celebrated my marriage to my friend and lover, Dianne, who continues to bring me joy, insight, challenge, fun, love and hope. We have known one another as friends for 25 years and have been married for 13 years - and all of these years have been blessings.

Second, I got to meet one of my heroes: the Velveteen Rabbi herself, Rachel Barenblat. We had lunch yesterday in Pittsfield and then I read her blog which began, "A Rabbi and a minister go into a coffee shop..."which made me laugh out loud(and laughter is always a clue to me that the Spirit is lurking about!)
We talked of a common spiritual journey - and similar experiences in our very different paths - that made my soul sing.
I love her blog (check it out at: http://velveteenrabbi.blogs.com/blog/) and look forward to finding ways we can deepen a new friendship and explore ways our journeys might encourage both our congregations! As U2 says, it was a beautiful day.

And then the politics of this night... OMG! If you don't know by now, I LOVE POLITICS AND ALL THE MINUTIA OF THE FIGHTS AND PERMUTATIONS! It is something I share with daughter number two, Michal, and it is always a source of joy and frustration. But what a blessing to see events shake out tonight the way they did after all the Jeremiah Wright BS! What's more, Brother Obama's speech began with Springsteen's "The Rising" (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZN_cDlAddbM) and concluded with Stevie Wonder's great tune, "Signed, Sealed and Delivered." (check it out, too, with Beyonce as a true bonus: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yw_R9_aBtYc&feature=related_

Both songs are deeply spiritual to me. "The Rising" came after the horrors of September 11th and is the Boss' hymn to both the heroism of NYC fire fighters and an ode to those who lost loved ones and long for a love that transcends time and space. I have sung it with a full rock band and as a simple, acoustic gospel hymn. And the Stevie Wonder's tune, which I once used to court my lover, comes from that unique moment in American history when the Motown reality brought black and white musicians together to support the best hopes and dreams of African Americans. What's more... it has such a groove to it that you can't help but shake your booty.

So... I rejoice, give thanks and sing for I am a blessed boy and I know it! I can't help but think of this scripture in Psalm 47: O clap your hands, all you peoples; shout to God with loud songs of joy. For God, the Most High, is awesome and a great ruler over all the earth. God subdued peoples under us and nations under our feet. God chose our heritage for us, the pride of Jacob whom God loves. God has gone up with a shout, God has gone up with the sound of the trumpet. Sing praises to the Lord, sing praises to the Lord of Hosts. For God is the ruler of all the earth!

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