Across the universe...

Random blessings keep coming my way - and random thoughts keep swimming in my heart and soul - as the season shifts ever so gently towards fall here in the Berkshires.  It is starting to get very cool in the evening, the humidity has taken a vacation and even some of the trees are starting to turn from green to red on the edges.

Today, I got this picture from a couple I had the privilege of sharing their marriage vows of renewal with on Saturday. They are dear to my heart and a blessing to our community - and when we played Alan Jackson's "Remember When" and they danced together in the Chancel... I was full to overflowing! (And this has GOT to be one of my favorite country songs ever!)
Here's a picture from another wedding I did this summer - and what could be more perfect than this setting?  OMG.  As I told one of my musical buddies afterwards, even if the liturgy sucked and my homily tanked, who would notice, right?  (Thankfully things did not go south in either category making the whole feast a total blast.)
The music was a gas - a cellist and violin - with Charlie Tokarz added on sax for "Ma Vie en Rose" as the processional - and the bride's dad (and my buddy Andy) joining two other male voices for the Beatles' "Here, There and Everywhere" before the vows... how sweet can life be?

Yesterday at worship, a retired concert pianist joined us and afterwards asked, "Is there any way I might be able to do a benefit performance to help support one of the ministries of the church?"  She knows folk from the Boston Symphony and would help pull it all together.  Last night, a friend from Wales sent me a killer song based on my favorite verse of scripture (living into the unforced rhythms of grace.) 

And today I received three totally excellent applicants for our new Christian Education Superintendent's job.  A new friend found my blog and asked this morning for some help composing a play list for her Sunday School's journey into contemporary songs with a spiritual content.

Man... I am buzzing.  Grateful. And in awe of the wild emotional roller coaster involved with a life open to Christ's presence in the ordinary events of real life.  I like the way St. Frederick Buechner puts it:

It is not a place, of course, but a condition.  Kingship might be a better word:  thy kingdom come, thy will be done is what Jesus prayed.  The two are in apposition.  Insofar as here and there, and now and then, God's kingly will is being done in various odd ways among us even at this moment, the kingdom has come already.

Insofar as all the odd ways we do his will at this moment are at best half-baked and half hearted, the kingdom is still a long way off - a hell of a long way off to be more precise and theological.

As a poet, Jesus is maybe at his be3st in describing the feeling you get when you glimpse the Ting itself - the kingship of the king official at last and all the world his coronation. It's like finding a million dollars in a field, he says, or a jewel worth a king's ransom. It's like finding something you hated to lose and thought you'd never find again - an old keepsake, a stray sheep, a missing child. When the kingdom really comes, it's as if the thing you lost and thought you'd never find again is you...

So, you see, unbelief is as much of a choice as belief is. What makes it in many ways more appealing is that whereas to believe in something requires some measure of understanding and effort, not to believe doesn't require much of anything at all.

I believe, Lord, help my unbelief.

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