For the Living of These Days—A Word from Kathy Collier

It’s a cool and rainy day that feels more like late September than late August. Highland’s mid-week rhythms of dinner, classes for adults, youth gatherings, children’s choirs and sanctuary choir rehearsals resumed last Wednesday so the building is filled with energy and people being community together—sacred threads of connection.

Making connections for worshipers through the melodies of well-loved hymns and texts of anthems is what I do each day. So Highland’s new theme of exploring Freedom sent me searching in our Celebrating Grace hymnal and also to collections of poetry. We begin the year by exploring what it looks like to have the Freedom to Dream. Poet and hymn writer Thomas Troeger has six hymns in our hymnal and is probably my favorite contemporary hymn writer. In the preface to his collection, God, You Made All Things for Singing, he states his conviction that worshipers should boldly sing our theological truths. Boldly, we will sing and claim the power and right God has given all people to imagine a future of justice and love where we are not hindered by cynicism or despair.

     Dreamer, you are dreaming still!
     You have visions yet to fill.
     What great wonders will you do?
     “I am making all things new!
     I will wipe your tears away,
     fill your shadowed hearts with day,
     tend your wounds and soothe your pain,
     see that peace and justice reign.”

     Dreamer, keep your vision true
     to the dream that lives in you.
     Let your dream awake and feed
     our response to earth’s vast need.
     Through the way we speak and act
     help us turn your dream to fact.
     Then our lives will make it clear:
     you, our God, are dwelling here.