Monday, 7 March 2016

Leaning Into Lent: Day 23—Never Again

These are good lines to pray:
In the tender compassion of our God •
the dawn from on high shall break upon us,
To shine on those who dwell in darkness and the shadow of death, •
and to guide our feet into the way of peace.
They’re from The Benedictus in Morning Prayer. With my Lenten self examination comes the realization that the darkness in which I dwell is not as dark as that in which some others do—Iraqi and Syrian Christians, for example. Death’s shadow seems to be leaning over others more closely than over me.

Those lines remind me of others in a song my son wrote and recorded with a friend under the name Bluff: Never Again.
Hey, son
You’re falling down
It's ripping out
My heart again 
What's with this
Horror in the
Corridors of the place we're in 
Spirits broken
Religion spoken
Bodies they're piling high.  
One day comes
Dark horizons
Good men stand up go inside 
Dark souls come
sorrow laden
Deal the world her final blow
The song is the cry of two young fathers’ hearts concerned about the savage and deathly dark shadow religious extremism casts over the future and their young families.

How shall I respond from a Holy Lent observed? I don’t walk away and ignore it like the good men in the song who stand up and go inside—unless, of course, it is to pray I go there. And I pray without losing heart (Lk 18.1). The Anglican offices such as those offered by the Church of England are brilliant for that. So are the ones in our own Canadian Book of Common Prayer and Book of Alternative Services (the texts of which are both online here). I can lean on them in my devotions because I know nothing important will be missed. I also know, as the song goes, that one day,
When it's alright
I'll come out again
Right at the end
And all shall be well, and all shall be well and all manner of things shall be well, no matter what.