Thoughts from the Vicarage 27

Good afternoon everyone,

I do hope that this finds you all well. Today’s thoughts begin with music. This is partly, and rather selfishly because I miss singing in worship – do you?

You may know that there will be a short VE Day 75th anniversary service on Friday morning from 10.50. Within that service there is a slot for a hymn and when I was rehearsing with the tripod and camera (!) I broke into singing!

That very same day I received an uplifting email from Wendy who shared a beautiful hymn sung by daughter Susan. Once again, I found myself breaking into song along with Susan as she accompanied herself.

I Heard the Voice of Jesus Say …

With Susan’s permission I attach it today for us all to enjoy. I hope that Susan won’t mind me sharing that it is one of her favourites. Written in the early 19th century by Horatius Bonar it is a hymn about finding comfort and love in Jesus in times of difficulty and despair. It speaks of finding rest, finding refreshment and finding the light of Christ as we journey through life.

Click here to listen:

I heard the voice of Jesus say,
“Come unto me and rest;
lay down, O weary one, lay down
your head upon my breast.”
I came to Jesus as I was,
weary and worn and sad;
I found in him a resting place,
and he has made me glad.

I heard the voice of Jesus say,
“Behold, I freely give
the living water; thirsty one,
stoop down and drink, and live.”
I came to Jesus, and I drank
of that life-giving stream;
my thirst was quenched, my soul revived,
and now I live in him.

I heard the voice of Jesus say,
“I am this dark world’s Light;
look unto me, your morn shall rise,
and all your days be bright.”
I looked to Jesus and I found
in him my Star, my Sun;
and in that light of life I’ll walk,
’til trav’ling days are done.

More music to inspire … apologies, it’s a little late …

comes from another local correspondent and features the welcoming in of the month of May – traditionally heralded from the tower of Magdalene College Oxford. Just click on the link to start and make sure your volume is on, of course. You’re in for a treat!
Click here to listen and watch on You Tube

The Royal British Legion calls on the nation …

to mark the 75th anniversary of VE Day from home. As chaplain to the Lambourn branch of the British Legion I will be sharing a short service, including the 2 minute silence on Friday. And as I reflected, preparing for the short service, it became very clear that there are many parallels between the struggles of the Second World War and what we are going through today. We look to our Second World War generation to learn from their experiences, and the Legion continues their work to protect them from the threat we currently face.

Each of our villages is celebrating in their own inimitable fashion so if you are so minded do join in, hold the silence at 11am and give thanks and, if you are so minded join in with the music – I gather that there is even going to be a national rendition of We’ll Meet Again at 9 pm – another chance to sing!

And if you are having a good day, treasure it …

if you’re not, then tomorrow is a new start and as Mary Oliver suggests go out and sing!

I Worried a Lot by Mary Oliver

I worried a lot. Will the garden grow, will the rivers
flow in the right direction, will the earth turn
as it was taught, and if not how shall
I correct it?

Was I right, was I wrong, will I be forgiven,
can I do better?

Will I ever be able to sing, even the sparrows
can do it and I am, well,

Is my eyesight fading or am I just imagining it,
am I going to get rheumatism,
lockjaw, dementia?

Finally I saw that worrying had come to nothing.
And gave it up. And took my old body
and went out into the morning,
and sang.

And finally … words from Handel to inspire

My formative school years were spent at a school whose older building, known as The Old House had once, during the 18th century been the home of George Frederick Handel where he was was composer-in-residence, Handel also wrote The Chandos Anthems, and his opera Acis and Galatea was first performed in the grounds. As you may imagine we were steeped in the works of Handel, especially when it came to our Founder’s Day! And it is at times such as these that turning to music for consolation and comfort can be so restorative. So I leave you today with the lyrics from an unknown author set to music by Handel.

Art thou troubled?
Music will calm thee,
Art thou weary?
Rest shall be thine.
Music, source of all gladness,
Heals thy sadness at her shrine,
Music ever divine,
Music calleth with voice divine.
When the welcome spring is smiling,
All the earth with flowers beguiling,
After winter’s dreary rain,
Sweetest music doth attend her,
Heavenly harmonies doth lend her,
Chanting praises in her train.

Art thou troubled?
Music will calm thee,
Art thou weary?
Rest shall be thine.
Music, source of all gladness,
Heals thy sadness at her shrine,
Music ever divine,
Music calleth with voice divine.

I give thanks for you all every day, and remain, as ever, proud to be part of this Valley and community. As I pray for you, please pray for one another.

God bless