Dynamic tension. Compromise. Beauty.
I found these three practices today in a book written by Brian McLaren. It’s called “A Generous Orthodoxy” and was published in 2004. In a chapter titled “Why I Am (Ana)baptist/Anglican,” he explores the reasons why he is attracted to both the Anabaptist and Anglican traditions within the broader Christian family.
The Anglican tradition offers these three practices, which McLaren summarizes in a few paragraphs. These practices speak clearly to what I want to be about as a Christian and to what I believe is important during this season of life in the Church of God and, more broadly, in Christianity (at least in America). Continue reading
Yesterday afternoon, Tara and I had the opportunity to sing in a “choral evensong,” a formal worship service in which most of the service is sung by a choir and accompanied by a pipe organ. This took place at Trinity Episcopal Church in Bay City, a church where we have sung on several occasions in the past few years. It’s a beautiful historic building with a high vaulted ceiling and wonderful acoustics. Prominent throughout the sanctuary, like many buildings of that period, are several stained glass windows.
I found myself looking up at one of these stained glass windows at the end of this evensong service. We choir members had walked down from the choir loft to the back of the sanctuary, where we sat to listen to the last piece of music from the pipe organ. As I looked up at the stained glass, I was amazed by the beauty of what I saw: not just the picture displayed in the window, but the way the glass shined in the sun. Here is something completely material – a window comprised of many different shapes and colors of glass – that shines with the light of something beyond itself, something immaterial. The beauty of the window cannot be seen completely until the light shines through the glass. Continue reading