AdventPhotos2016 – Proclaim

2 12 2016

Proclaim: to make known publicly.

I just got back home from the annual district Christmas Dinner for Pastors & Spouses up in Holmes county, widely known as Amish country. When you’re in that part of the state a one-on-one conversation isn’t necessary to identify the Amish. Their lifestyle, attire, and transportation choices make very clear the fact that they hold to and live out the values and beliefs of the Amish faith tradition. Of course, there are ways other than driving a horse & buggy whereby one proclaims their beliefs and values.

  





Voice – AdventPhotos (2015#10)

8 12 2015

I’m not really sure where Jylian got her voice, but she’s got the pipes. We’ll be heading up to Cleveland on Saturday to hear her sing with the Cleveland Orchestra and Chorus at Severance Hall. Pretty cool, huh? But here’s the thing, she didn’t just call them up and say, “Hey, write me in for the soprano solo on the 12th.” She’s been working on improving, growing, perfecting her voice for nearly her whole life, and the past four years of undergrad work probably has a thousand hours of time dedicated to the field of music. It’s been a singular focus; worthy of a priority investment of time, energy, and money. She’ll be heard by a sold out crowd this weekend, because she did the work, she earned the right to be heard. Sometimes, we think that the world, our community, our neighborhood, our workplace owes us a listen just because we decide to start talking. We get offended if they have the audacity to ignore our voice. I wonder how differently the message of grace and peace would be heard if we spent time in preparation; preparing our hearts, being careful to understand the context into which we want to speak, recognizing that we are stewards of this gift of grace and it is worthy of our singular focus, our best energy, and all of the resources at our disposal. If we worked to earn the right to be heard and then, spoke the truth, would our voice rise above the hopeless chatter and droning noise of this world? If we loved, really loved those who we want to listen to us, would the message of grace and peace finally be heard? “Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not charity, I am become as sounding brass, or tinkling symbol.”