Google is so thoughtful and yes, I write these words with just a touch of sarcasm along with a smile. Exactly one year ago, I had the assignment of writing this article for the newsletter. I took the opportunity to share my sadness in losing the 100+ year old white oak tree in our front yard. You’ve got to love Google for filling my phone screen last week with all the images of the fallen tree spread across our yard, our roof, the street, and our neighbors’ yards and yes, the feelings quickly came back.
Musicians often connect music to events in our lives. I remember clearly longing for the opportunity to sing Edward Bairstow’s 1925 choral anthem, I Sat Down, when the tree fell to help process the feelings of loss. Bairstow’s comforting text, drawn from Song of Solomon, has been a favorite of mine since my college years at Murray in the 70’s. These sacred words have brought me comfort and coupled with the music Bairstow composed, it is often the music my heart sings:
As an apple tree among the trees of the wood,
I sat down under his shadow with great delight,
and his fruit was sweet to my taste.
He brought me to the banqueting house,
and His banner over me was love.
Since Google stirred up the memories, I took the opportunity to read my article from a year ago and I can’t resist closing with the values named last year because as Thanksgiving approaches and Highland nears the end of our interim, they are worth reading again:
- May we cherish our healthy community where all are welcome.
- May we continue to embrace challenge and change in the midst of an interim.
- May we value our deep roots in distinct and radical heritage of Baptist history.
- May we value broad and deep worship, inviting the mystery of a loving God.
- May we be continue to fulfill our mission of following Jesus on the corner of Cherokee and Grinstead for years to come.