Do you believe in miracles any more? Here in the UK the tide of public mood is turning and the politicians are beggining to smell fear for the consequences. Each day we read of more and more relevations about how badly our elected representative have behaved and their credibility is ebbing away.
How long will it be before the tide turns against war, poverty and the message of Jesus sweeps across the nation in a way which transforms our politics, churches and our way of life? I was reminded of Roger Waters and his Radio KAOS project from a few years back.
Listen, enjoy, hope, seize the moment for Christ and pray.
Today in thousands of churches across the world millions of Christians will share the peace with each other, so I bring to you the peace of an old Gaelic blessing because I am not Irish and it’s not St Patrick’s Day and (as far as I know) the Irish haven’t won anything this weekend!
Deep peace of the running wave to you-
Deep peace of the flowing air to you-
Deep peace of the quiet earth to you-
Deep peace of the shining stars to you-
Deep peace of the Prince of Peace to you.
May the road rise to meet you
May the wind be always at your back.
May the sun shine warm upon your face.
May the rains fall softly upon your fields.
Until we meet again-
May God hold you in the hollow of His hand.
This week the parents of murdered teenager Jimmy Mizen spoke out about how the aniversary of their son’s death should serve as “ a message for peace”. A memorial bench was unveiled near where Jimmy was murdered and the Mizens joined with the parents of Damilola Taylor and Rob Knox to launch a group called United Parents- which aimes to mdivert young people from crime.
Last year I was involved with a project called Hopeinfo.co.uk and the Mizens kindly agreed to be filmed as part of it. To see the remarkable things they had to say about the impact of the tragic death of their son and their hope that other people will find faith- see my post and the film at https://unfinishedchristian.wordpress.com/2009/03/14/jimmy-mizen-tragedy-and-hope-in-three-and-a-half-minutes/
Last night in a time of reflection and silent prayer I listened to Mass for four voices by William Byrd (1543-1623). Byrd’s work consists of 5 parts- Kyrie; Gloria; Credo; Danctus- Benedictus and Agnus Dei. The music is incredibly beautiful and I was compelled to look more carefully into the sleeve notes by Philip Brett and understood something more of the historical significance of the work itself. Byrd was a Catholic all his life and the music was designed for clandestine services held at the home of Sir John Petre and reflects a new mood of resignation and contemplation from Byrd who served at the court of Queen Elizabeth I as a Gentleman of the Chapel Royal commissioned to produce music for the reformed Anglican rite. Byrd wrote that he found “such hidden and deeply concealed power to a man thinking about divine things and turning them over carefully and earnestly in his mind.” The masses stand as the turning point of Byrd’s career and he arranged to have them published at a time when anti-Catholic feeling was running higher than ever. It must have been a very risky things to do. Brett writes; ” At the very end Byrd’s prayer for peace is troubled by chain after chain of poignant dissonances..(we realise) God’s peace was not a thing the persecuted English Catholic minority could take for granted, and in striking this painful note Byrd makes it clear that he has not altogether worked through the predicament so wonderfully expressed in his anguished middle-moets. It is a glorious moment in which a purely human, contemporary feeling gives new meaning to the age-old words of the liturgy.” Share something of the beauty of this music in the short clip below: