Notes from Jan


March 25, 2019

What a great idea you had, God, a Sabbath, day like no other.

If You needed to hit the pause button, how much more do we, workaholics, worrywarts, and wizened ones need a day of rest and reflection.

“I was glad when they said unto me, ‘Let us go into the house of the Lord.'”(Psalm 122:1 KJV) I learned this as a kid in Sunday School and for most of my life it’s been true, even though in teen years I was glad  because of friends or a Moody Science film, back when it was a sin to go to a movie. You have no idea how thrilling it is to watch a flower unfold through the magic of time lapse photography when seated beside a cute 14 year old boy!

Somebody messed up yesterday’s church bulletin, the order of service was out of order. Since I was to read the passage from Exodus, I had to guess where to jump in. Episcopal churches aren’t big on spontaneity.

Annie Dillard has a quote on church life in Philip Yancey’s book, Soul Survivor. “In 2000 years we have not worked out the kinks. We positively glorify them; week after week we witness the same miracle: that God is so mighty he can stifle his own laughter.”(p.239)

God seems to like messing up the order, ourĀ order, now and then. Sometimes it comes through music, like when Solomon’s Temple was completed, and all Israel in place, instruments tuned and voices pumped to sing as one. “… they raised their voices in praise to the LORD and sang: ‘He is good; his love endures forever.’ Then the temple of the LORD was filled with a cloud, and the priests could not perform their service because of the cloud, for the glory of the LORD filled the temple of God.”(IIChronicles 13b-14 NIV)

We’re temples, too.

Makes me wonder when the last time this old temple was so full of God’s Spirit, I could no longer carry on with business as usual.

Perhaps it starts with a Sunday Song on Monday, whether I feel like singing or not.


“Praise God, from whom all blessings flow; praise him, all creatures here below…”




singing on a Monday, might just start toe tapping, hand clapping and wings flapping in heaven.

Best of all, God smiling and laughing, enjoying something not in our usual order of service.

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  • Reply Paula Cerulli March 25, 2019 at 3:37 pm

    Indeed, MANY days I start our day with singing His praises!

  • Reply Dan Russ March 25, 2019 at 5:23 pm

    Jan, your reflections on messiness and singing reminded me of a recent review of Amy Hempel’s new book of short stories entitled Sing to It. She said the title comes from “The Arab proverb: When danger approaches, sing to it.” This seems to fit why and how most of the Psalms are written, although perhaps “It” should be replaced with “Him.”

  • Reply dale March 25, 2019 at 8:02 pm

    When God invites me to sing in the choir, I will assert He has a sense of humor. And, when my wife approves, I will have experienced grace here on earth – the first is far more likely.

    Thanks as always for making life the subject and the Giver of Life the focus.

    Blessings, Dale

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