Tuesday, December 23, 2008

The Apple Tree

One of the uplifting experiences for me this Christmas has been the church family choral service. Late yesterday afternoon I took a long walk with my dog in the snowy woods marveling that I could wander safely through deserted forest over crisp snow in the dim light of a short December day.

On returning, I then walked with a friend to the church for the choral service enhanced by the participation of many professional musicians, some known to me a good friends. The church was packed and warm. As for the voices, it was almost as if the descants were flung like shards of crystal at the high timbered ceiling. The children sang "Jesus Christ the Apple Tree" with one youngster, heading to England next month as a choir boy, performing a solo. It was as if he raised cupped hands and opened them up to let his voice flutter upward like a rather uncertain butterfly. The male voices were spread like a blanket beneath the melody and the audience joined in.

I had been afraid before that if I left the "evangelical," the "real" church, I would lose the sense of communion, of participation in and belongingness to the culture of my upbringing. Let me just note that this music is a million times better than the way hymns were sung in my childhood meeting, although we as a family did enjoy real music. I have attended many churches since then but this one, for now, offers what I need.

Here is an article on the fate of religious music in China that some of you might enjoy.


Bob MacDonald said...

I am very glad you are finding some good music. Such has been part of our life for many years. Elizabeth Poston's carol is delightful as is the Rosetti poem

Anonymous said...

This is lovely Suzanne. As it was playing, I kept thinking of Yale's Battell Chapel. It is a wonderful little cathedral, its stained glass enumerating the revivalists who were once a part of that university. I recall a Moravian emblem as well. The front altar says "Send out Thy Light and Thy Truth" from the Psalms, and the windows opposite it in the back hold trees of wisdom. The trees made quite an impression on me personally due to things the Lord had been sharing with me, so now I can think of Christ the apple tree when I think of them.

Thank you,