What else can I do?

In local news

Musicians in the crèche.

And so on Epiphany Day we sang and sang and sang – all the Christmas Carols we had missed (even at the end of the twelve days we’d still missed a lot!) and carols we needed to sing “one more time,” and then we began to sing the Epiphany cycle of hymns. When we sang “We Three Kings” the magi who’d been wandering around the end tables with their camel driver and camel, finally made their way to the crèche. We celebrated Eucharist in the Great Room surrounded by tong-drums, bells, percussion, and a xylophone and we improvised sacred music – playful and haunting. We presented our own gifts,  the projects we’d been working on during Creativity Days: knitted hats, decorations made of gourds, new brochures, symbols of interior/psychological/soul-work, the first gallon of maple syrup, retreat materials.  Later we ate a very fine dinner followed by almond cake with a coin hidden in it. The person whose slice holds the coin gets to choose which restaurant we’ll go to on the next holiday.

Then we sang some more.

Still worshipping in the Great Room and still surrounded by instruments on Sunday, the Baptism of Jesus, we set up our impromptu font: a golden bowl on a plant stand. We brought our prayers to the font water (mingled with real Jordan water) and washed ourselves and blessed the four corners of the room. And now the season of Epiphany draws our consciousness in increasing increments toward the Light coming into the world (just as the light outside increases).

Today and for the rest of the week I’m in Mendham, New Jersey with the sisters of the Community of Saint John the Baptist for their long retreat. We’re working with John 20:1-18 (the Resurrection appearance to Mary Magdalene) but I’m also thinking about the Gospel text for Sunday while I’m about to post the meditation prompts for Epiphany 2A on the Edge of the Enclosure http://www.edgeofenclosure.org

The Gospel for Sunday

He must increase, I must decrease. John the Baptist, The Esenheim Altarpiece, Grunewald, c. 1515, detail

This scene (John 1:29-42) imprinted upon my imagination early in my journey of faith. Like Jesus, John is featureless to me, but such a strong presence I know him intimately, layered with years of my own prayers, meditations, and encounters. The two disciples hear John say, “Behold the Lamb of God that takest away the sins of the world” and I hear Handel’s exquisite setting for this text from The Messiah. The two disciples (I see them as fairly young) sort of trip over each other to talk with Jesus as he walks away.

Rabbi where are you staying?

Come and see.

Suddenly I am a disciple and Jesus is talking to me.

Come and see.

What else am I to do?

And so I say, “You must increase and I must decrease.”
And I go.

One Response to “What else can I do?”

  1. Chris Says:

    Thank you for sharing this sweet wonderfulness.

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