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Archive for March, 2011

One of the worries in Japan right now is the safety of the water.  Thousands of people in northeast Japan have not had access to drinking water and bottled water in Tokyo has been hard to find.   The fear about possible radiation in the water is just one more problem the people must deal with in the aftermath of this natural disaster.  What many there would give for a glass of clean, fresh, life-giving water.  How basic our needs become when “all supports are washed away.” (more…)

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Meeting Christ in Handel’s Messiah (part 3)

Monologue

As I speak to you tonight, I have heavily burdened with grief and sorrow as I reflect back on my life.  I am usually a man of good humor and ready wit, but tonight I cannot help but recall many of the pain and abuses I endured in my life.  Permit me the indulgence of sharing some of these memories with you. . . (more…)

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During the season of Lent our Gospel readings from the Gospel of John introduce us to men and women who encountered Jesus and had their lives turned upside down.  Each one of these characters had been debilitated in some way as a result of the disobedience of the one man – Adam.  In other words, they lived with the consequences of sin in their body, mind and spirit.  And when they met Jesus – the one man who makes all men righteous – they experienced something new and unexpected and life-giving. (more…)

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Meeting Christ in Handel’s Messiah (Part 2)

Monologue (George Frederick Handel)

Greetings from your most obliged and humble servant.

It my pleasure to introduce you to another selection from my This great work I was inspired to write is called an oratorio – a musical composition based on a sacred text that is written for the orchestra, for a choir and soloists.  Messiah alternates between the choruses and the solos.  Tonight we will hear one of each.  “Behold the Lamb of God” is the text of the first one – a chorus.  Yes, I know a single man, John the Baptist, first spoke these words, and so you might think it should be a solo, but I have written it for the chorus because these words are the words of the church – of all believers. (more…)

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Supposedly, this has been the 9th snowiest winter in Minnesota’s history.  I’m not sure what that really means, but I do know that for many people a spring break right about now is a welcome escape.  This is the time of year when many Minnesotans, weary of the winter wilderness, get away to some warmer plush tropical paradise.  Some of you may have already had your winter paradise romps; others are there now; some of you may be planning an escape later this spring; others are stuck here for the duration.  All of us long for paradise – and I don’t just mean warmer climates.  But all of us – as long as we’re on this earth – live together in another kind of wilderness.

In the opening lines of our Old Testament reading God is placing one man in a garden paradise and in the Gospel reading the Spirit led another man to the tempter’s wilderness. (more…)

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Meeting Christ in Handel’s Messiah (Part 1)

Monologue (George Frederick Handel)

It is my most distinct privilege to be with you this evening – I am – for those whose acquaintance I have not yet met – George Frederick Handel.

At this most holy time of year it is my pleasure to share with you some reflections on a musical work I have grown to love deeply – my Messiah. For indeed it was during Lent of 1742 that my oratorio known by this one word name was first performed. I on the harpsichord and my good friend and violinist Matthew Dubourg conducting the orchestra. It was in the Music Hall at Dublin that this music first took flight – straight to heaven’s gates it flew. From my grateful heart and willing hands to God’s eternal glory. (more…)

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Jesus Shines Brighter

“One Shining Moment” is the name of what many consider to be the most widely known sports song.  For over 20 years this song has been played at the end of the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament as the winning team cuts down the nets.  During the song the TV coverage includes highlights from the tournament.  In a little over a week, March Madness begins and on April 4 another team will have their one shining moment of victory.

What would you say in Jesus’ one shining moment?  If we were going to put together a montage of events from Jesus’ life which would you include and which of these highlights would you say is his one shining moment? (more…)

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