Singing over the blasphemous noise

Christians believe that Jesus shared our mortal flesh and blood to so that we can share his eternal life.

With all people of conscience and good will, we abhor murder for what it inflicts upon and steals from human beings. We must also condemn it as a kind of blasphemy, an insult to God, because in Christian understanding people are not disembodied spirits or drops of some cosmic goo, but the flesh and blood image of God that the divine Word, Jesus, came to share and save. Churches that use the Revised Common Lectionary will hear that affirmed this Sunday,

…through the blood of Jesus we have confidence of entrance into the sanctuary by the new and living way he opened for us through the veil, that is, his flesh… (Hebrews 10:19-20 NAB)

The blasphemous noise of Islamic terror attacks in Paris echoes this morning. How blessed to enter into prayer through the Liturgy of the Hours, and sing over it with a gentle hymn to a tune gracefully (not coincidentally or ironically) sourced to the Paris Antiphoner 1681.

More than that, the contemporary lyrics remind us that Jesus shares the injustice, suffering and death endured by the victims in Paris last night – and is their hope for eternal peace,

Christ is the world’s life, Christ and none other;
sold once for silver, murdered here, our brother;
he, who redeems us, reigns with God the Father:
Glory to God on high!

The first Psalm of the morning is 92, and calls forth a sacred orchestra to sing over the blasphemy with the promise of God’s justice,

It is good to give thanks to the LORD,
to sing praise to your name, Most High,
To proclaim your love at daybreak,
your faithfulness in the night,
With the ten-stringed harp,
with melody upon the lyre.
For you make me jubilant, LORD, by your deeds;
at the works of your hands I shout for joy.
How great are your works, LORD!
How profound your designs!
A senseless person cannot know this;
a fool cannot comprehend.
Though the wicked flourish like grass
and all sinners thrive,
They are destined for eternal destruction;
but you, LORD, are forever on high.
Indeed your enemies, LORD,
indeed your enemies shall perish;
all sinners shall be scattered.

In Sunday’s Gospel Jesus tells us to drown out the blasphemous noise of the world,

“Beware that no one leads you astray. Many will come in my name and say, `I am he!’ and they will lead many astray. When you hear of wars and rumors of wars, do not be alarmed; this must take place, but the end is still to come.” (Mark 13:6-7 NRSV)

Christians must sing the truth about Jesus, carried in the Nicene Creed,

He will come again in glory
to judge the living and the dead
and his kingdom will have no end.


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