Last night at the Church of the Redeemer, the Wine Before Breakfast band, together with many members of our community, came together with a full house of other folk to allow the music and poetry of Leonard Cohen to resonate with the scriptures, and deep within our own hearts.
That’s kind of what we do at WBB and it is very good thing that once a semester we get to do that with a wider community, at a more reasonable hour of the day.
One of the things that I commented on in my sermon was the humility of Leonard Cohen. Now I don’t know this from any personal interaction with the man (of course), but I simply observe the tone of his poetry and even his presence on a stage. Even his strong and prophetic words do not come off as self-righteous.
Consider these lines from “Hallelujah”:
but it’s not a complaint that you hear tonight
it’s not the laughter of someone who claims to have seen the light
no it’s a cold and a very lonely hallelujah
Not someone who has claimed to have seen the light.
So when we turn to tomorrow’s passage wherein St. Paul is taking on his fellow Jews in an argument that seems to be about a level of covenantal arrogance and privilege, somehow this just doesn’t fit the Jew that we celebrated last night.
No, this text in Romans 2.12 to 3.9 seems to me to resonate more powerfully with Christians. So in preparation for tomorrow’s WBB, try this little exercise.
Go and read the text. And every time you see the word “Jew” replace it with Christian. And replace “law” with gospel, and while you’re at it, try replacing “circumcision” with baptism and see what happens.
We’ll leave Mr. Cohen to rest for a while – at his age he deserves it. And we’ll listen in on Tori Amos and Fiona Apple for our musical reflection.
David Shulman will be preaching.
David Julien returns to celebrate the Eucharist with us.
And Steve Edwards has crafted our prayers.
Me? I’m going to make the coffee.
See you in the morning.
Wine Before Breakfast
Tuesday, October 16@ 7.22am
Wycliffe College Chapel