Thursday, November 11, 2010

Some more thoughts about Advent, music and peace-making...

Today's is Veteran's Day in the US - Remembrance Day elsewhere - and my thoughts keep moving towards peace. Most of the soldiers and sailors and air corp folk I have known have been the most honest, humble and realistic peace-makers I have had the privilege to know: they've put themselves on the line for others and know first hand how horrible war always is for everyone involved. And more than most, they are also committed to avoiding armed conflict - unless it is is the best of horrible alternatives - much more so than many of the ideologues or so-called peace activists I have known.

That said, the Spirit of the Lord is upon me to go deeper into the peace-making through music realm and here are a few thoughts about this Advent. If you get a chance, I would value your insights and/or reactions:

+ Advent One: The Isaiah 2: 1-5 text speaks of God’s mountain as the place of welcome for ALL people; together they will learn the way of peace-making together. The gospel text – Matthew 24: 36-44 – is a call to be alert to those hidden place where God is breaking into our ordinary lives with something of the sacred vision and light. It seems to me that the introduction to the series should both highlight these theological insights AND suggest some ways that music advances the cause. The work of “Playing for a Change” could be a good example here.

+ Advent Two:
The Isaiah 11: 1-10 text speaks of the unexpected child who shall come to bring reconciliation to the world and creation while the Matthew 3: 1-12 text tells the story of John the Baptist and his call to change our direction. It seems to me that the Daniel Barenboim story advances both the texts and the theme concerning reconciliation, changing direction and teaching peace-making through music.

+ Advent Three: The Isaiah 35: 1-10 text is filled with images of God’s healing the wounds of the world within the wilderness; the Matthew 11: 2-11 text continues the John the Baptist theme but shows how Jesus is different: he brings compassion rather than judgment. This is the week to share examples from U2, Bob Franke, Pete Seeger, Sarah McLaughlin and others.

+ Advent Four: Isaiah 7: 10-17 speaks of the birth of a child who will advance the cause of the Lord and Matthew 1: 18-25 recasts this prophecy through the story of Jesus, Mary and Joseph. My hope is the Pittsfield Jazz Ambassadors will be with us this day and share a little of their mission along with lots of music.

Add to this mixture the traditional use of the Advent Wreath ceremony and the hymns of the season - filled with longing, waiting and quiet hope - and something very interesting might just be born within and among us...

1 comment:

Philomena Ewing said...

Hi Dave,
I thought you might like these two powerful songs to go with the ongoing theme . They are both by Mercedes Sosa, and I find them immensely moving and inspirational.

thanks be to god...

The past four weeks have been full to overflowing: time in Ottawa with our dear L'Arche community, walking in the snow on the Winter Sol...