Clergy Notes — Sunday, February 25, 2018

Sitting in the main sanctuary last Sunday, I listened intently to the Vancouver Viols, as they put on a stunning performance of music I had never heard before. I did not know what a viol was, or how it differed from a violin. “Is it a small cello, or more of a large viola?” I asked myself. Neither. It is its own type of instrument, more closely related to a guitar but played with a bow.

From close to the back pew I listened and my eyes wandered over the sanctuary. I was struck again by the ability of music to transport us into gentler places, to be comforting and warm.

In Lent there is no alleluia, no music as the gospel book progresses back to the celebrant, no sound as the preacher moves to the pulpit, and for myself I find the quiet borders on uncomfortable, even when reverent. It is not because of the silence. Though it might be hard to believe, I enjoy silence from time to time. No, it is because I expect music, I am used to it and when there isn’t any, I am suddenly outside my comfort zone. I think that is partly the experience of Lent. Turning toward Jesus, when we feel that pinch of discomfort.

I have noticed during our sessions: Finding Jesus in the Gospel of John, there is some discomfort in journaling. I wonder why that is? Have we moved so far away from working with pens and paper that an exercise without a tablet or computer is now too foreign to us?

Journaling is a time of immersive devotion. There is something different about working with pen and paper, as the words and thoughts rise up in us while we dwell on scripture, they then flow through us in the action of writing onto the paper. We can refer back to them. We can add to them as our thoughts evolve.

There is nothing to fear in journaling, even if the pen is mightier than the sword! These journals we are working with are private; thoughts and scribbles that remain between us and God. I hope this week as you study, pray and reflect you can find freedom in your journaling, and meet Jesus in a new way.

Peace, Mother Lucy