Sunday, March 26, 2017

Hallelujah

So well, okay then, very good. Never use “very” and never respond or open a conversation with “so” or “well” or “okay” lest one reveal that one has vanished into the ethers of mediocrity: as it is, they will realize it soon enough in due course. What am I especially happy about this Fourth Sunday in Lent - - which parishioners who are at church later this morning will find out is Laetare Sunday or Rose Sunday, Rejoice Sunday, Mid-Lent Sunday. As preacher this morning, “homilist” (a word I despise), I have Children’s Time, and I am going to give each child a noisemaker. 

Hallelujah. 

And if, because it’s Spring Break and families are away and there are only a dozen or fewer children, each child may get two. Two noisemakers. Don’t mess with me. We don’t want to upset Bubba.

Our old time Sunday School Bible story that I first learned to love as a child visiting East Hill Baptist Church in Pensacola with my grandfather and cousins, is a David story. Really, the first one in mind. God has, well, it’s from 1 Samuel 16, isn’t it, and the storyteller calls him יְהֹוָה so it’s The Lord, The Lord tells Samuel his prophet and judge, that he is disillusioned (would the Russian word be хандра? IDK) with Saul as king, and replaces him with David the ShepherdBoy. As today’s first reading, it’s a great way to begin Laetare Sunday; but like Lent that resumes in full purple reproach tomorrow, David the Innocent falls into sin with everybody’s favorite Bible story of seduction, lust and murder. Count them: how many commandments were broken? 



For anyone who didn’t hear it in Sunday School as a child, Leonard Cohen gives us a hint:

Your faith was strong but you needed proof
You saw her bathing on the roof
Her beauty and the moonlight overthrew ya
She tied you to a kitchen chair
She broke your throne, she cut your hair
And from your lips she drew the hallelujah
Hallelujah
Hallelujah
Hallelujah
Hallelujah

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YrLk4vdY28Q

Bathsheba: Jean-Leon Gerome, French, 1824-1904, pinched online

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