Message from Michael Marshall.
Wednesday January 10th the new piano arrived! The encouragement by the Gibsons over ten years ago with their donation of their piano to help raise funds and to offer music to feed the soul was a brilliant idea and has been enhanced by this new instrument. Its larger size and length of strings brings a deeper tone and modulation which the acoustics of Andrew amplifies. Its arrival on a bright winter day in the warmth of the sun made me feel very happy to enjoy life in such a remarkably beautiful setting like the island. The islands were green still on the January day the piano arrived, the air cold and the lagoons remained frozen from the cold snap of previous week. The air still and the church building with its white walls glowed in the mid-morning light.
It is difficult to misstep in the atmosphere of this building’s size and intimate sound. It is place where one can feel both the creation’s strength and fragility in the same moment. It is the creation and our place in it that inaugurates our spiritual practice and encourages us to explore its development. The seasons of Advent, Christmas and Epiphany are the exciting beginning of a new year of exploration.
Speechless her joy as she watched him there,
Forgetful of pain and grief and care,
And every thought in her soul was a prayer;
While under the dome of the desert sky
The Kings of the East from afar drew nigh,
And the great white star that was guide to them
Kept ward o'er the manger of Bethlehem.
-Lucy Maude Montgomery
These words of Lucy Maude Montgomery paint the scene of the incarnation we anticipate in Advent and celebrate at Christ’s Mass. Its emphasis is a mother’s joy and its auspicious nature. Eastern sages come at the season of Epiphany. Vivid images encompassing with seven lines the breath and breadth of an extraordinary event. These weeks in an Ontario Winter offer us yearly a chance to reflect on the light and love of the Creator by offering a renewed vision of what must be, even as many remain anxious of what the future may bring on the world stage.
G.K. Chesterton expresses the tension of the Incarnation’s promise with the challenge that confronts the sages on their arrival and subsequent stay. Their visit to King Herod, the monarchial authority of the region, sheds no light on the whereabouts of the momentous birth. Their experience with the King is unsettling and fills them with a foreboding. Yet they journey forward and make the discovery that changes their own lives forever.
To an open house in the evening
Home shall men come,
To an older place than Eden
And a taller town than Rome.
To the end of the way of the wandering star,
To the things that cannot be and that are,
To the place where God was homeless
And all men are at home.
-Gilbert Keith Chesterton
Our lives are full of the contrasts of the experience that Chesterton describes. As we begin a new year may your lives be filled with challenge, joy and wonder, blessed by the source of all life and love.
Glory to God! True hearts,
Lo, now the dark departs,
And morning on the snow-clad hills grows grey.
Oh, may love's dawning light
Kindled from loveless night,
Shine more and more unto the perfect day!
-Robert Fuller Murray