What would the world be like if it were run by sacred poets? That is exactly the question answered by the biblical notion of the Kingdom of God. It would a world in which enemies are loved, the poor inherit the earth and no one hurts another out of anxiety about what tomorrow may bring. These words depict the wisdom of heaven, but they appear foolish and naive when spoken anywhere on earth. So the poet stands in the midst of a world that has grown jaded with reality and speaks in such a way as to open the doors to the Kingdom of Truth. The poet's lifelong apprenticeship is to move others - to stir them from their sleepy reality - and awaken them to the presence of the Kingdom in their midst.
Tonight at band practice we played with this truth by reworking the beautiful Taize chant, "Veni Sancte Spiritus" into our own creation: beautiful four part vocal harmonies, pulsating upright bass, jazz inflections on piano wrapped in recorder melodies and an electric guitar that is one part Jerry Garcia, one part Duane Allman and totally Dav-ilicious (our lead guitar player being, of course, David.) It will be for us the third Sunday in the season of creation - Cosmos Sunday - where we recognize that the "order" of the cosmos is an impulse towards life. God has set in motion the totality of creation to strengthen and support life. That means the violence and fear, the anxiety and political posturing that is so ANTI-life, points to a reality that is out of balance..
A doctor who sings with our band put it like this: what a tragic state of affairs we have created when broken and wounded souls have to cry out for help by shooting and killing innocent people. And it is happening with greater frequency. Now I rarely watch cable news anymore - too much carping and bullshit for my tastes - but I happened to see something that Rachel Maddow posted that was sobering, saddening and brilliant. ..
With clarity and conviction, she noted: "The MSNBC host compared the twelve worst shootings in American history in which twelve people or more were killed, and noted that the first six spanned fifty years but the latter six took place over the course of just six years, a trend she described as "the bloodshed of half a century compressed into this blink of time." Maddow pointed out that both the Aurora and Newtown shootings happened in 2012. Later, she continued:
We have long been mystified when it comes to understanding the motivations of the super violent and we seem just as mystified now about how to stop them in the first place. Whether or not you like the idea of additional gun regulations, if you thought that Newtown, Columbine and more was going to lead to meaningful regulations, if you thought they might affect the regulation just as they relate to mental illness, you are still waiting for those changes. If you have been thinking that we live in an era that is more marked by this type of mass bloodshed than any era before, I am sad to tell you you are right. It did not used to be this way, but more and more, this is part of how we live.Here is the clip...