“. . . and it was the duty of the trumpeters and singers to make themselves heard in unison in praise and thanksgiving to the Lord . . .” 2 Chronicles 5:13
Solomon has just completed the construction of Israel’s first, permanent temple. This passage is one sentence from many that describe the grateful king’s dedication ceremony. As a musician, I notice passages like this, and they stop me in my tracks. In this scene, there were 120 priests participating, each with a trumpet. That’s an impressive ensemble if only for scale, but what stuns me here is not the size of the group but what they were doing: they are playing in unison – all together – same notes, same rhythms, same volume. They are one.
How did they do that? Continue reading “Unison” →
“And Moses said to Korah, ‘Hear now, you sons of Levi: is it too small a thing for you that the God of Israel has separated you from the congregation of Israel, to bring you near to himself, to do service in the tabernacle of the Lord and to stand before the congregation to minister to them, and that he has brought you near him, and all your brothers the sons of Levi with you? And would you seek the priesthood also?'” Numbers 16:8-10
Too small a thing . . . a group of people among the now-freed slaves of Egypt, the Israelites, had become discontented with their lot in life: it was no longer enough to be singled out among the hundreds of thousands to serve God in the daily work of worship in the tabernacle: they wanted more, and they were going after it.
What do you do when you are discontent and want more from life than you have? Continue reading “Too small” →
Under a bright, white moon,
Unseen until morning light.
White dust as notice
To live well this hour.
An echo in ice mist,
Left from the breath of a sinister whispering,
Under a bright, white moon.
Winter: “I am coming.”
“But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is alive and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? Therefore do not be anxious, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the Gentiles seek after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all. But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.” Matthew 6:30-33
When you think about how God provides for you, is it your experience that He is generous and delighted to give to you or do you see Him as stingy and reluctant with His care? How does that perspective affect your idea of how He loves you? Continue reading “Heavy choices” →
“But if you say, ‘We will not remain in this land,’ disobeying the voice of the Lord your God and saying, ‘No, we will go to the land of Egypt, where we shall not see war or hear the sound of the trumpet or be hungry for bread, and we will dwell there; then hear the word of the Lord, O remnant of Judah. Thus says the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel: If you set your faces to enter Egypt and go to live there, then the sword that you fear shall overtake you there in the land of Egypt, and the famine of which you are afraid shall follow close after you to Egypt, and there you shall die.” Jeremiah 42:13-16
When challenges flow strongly into the day, are you “in,” or “out?” Too often, I’m out. Continue reading “In or out?” →
“And the angel said to them, ‘Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people.'” Luke 2:10
When I was a boy, I had an image in my mind of God that was built around the ideas of his power and his greatness. He was a distant person who was busy tending the mechanics of the universe or the trajectory of nations. He was big. I was small. He was loving, but in a miffed kind of way, because we, as people, had really screwed up his plans for the perfect and beautiful world that took him six whole days to build. If anything, he was reluctant with his attention: when I would seek his help, I was an interruption. He wasn’t smiling. Continue reading “Newsflash” →