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Thoroughly Alive

We must hunger after the beautiful and the good...

 

Evensong and Sunlight

Below, you will find my favorite picture from these past, swift, richly thoughtful weeks. I snapped it at the closing ceremony: an evensong service with Eucharist celebrated in the matchless beauty King's College Chapel, Cambridge. There are few places in the world that so strike me silent in wonder. This moment in particular was one of those that Madeleine L'Engle would call "kairos time" - not caught in the usual chronological march of minutes and hours but containing within its beauty a seedlet of eternity. image (2)

The context: late afternoon, the end of the service, the honeyed, summer golden hour. We had taken the Eucharist and sung the closing hymn under the high, solemn splendor of the east windows, portraying the crucified Christ. Tinged in blue with the coming night, the purple and dusky panes of the Passion lent a solemnity to the last minutes of the service, a greater weight to the prayers we spoke and the proclamations we made to live rightly, to love purely, to act in courage and grace.

And then we emerged.

Down the nave, through the gates dividing the chapel, we emerged into the wide, high space of the western window. There, made radiant by the setting sun, colors in a myriad glint, was the western window with the risen Christ, arms out, beckoning our eyes to his face and heart. And beneath him was the door opened wide into the summer world. From the Eucharist, from that inner room of the church where we lived again the story of the God who gave his heart and body and life to redeem ours, we walked out strong. Out, out, to emerge into the world with hearts and blood quickened by the life of the risen Christ. Out into the sun, with eternal light in our hearts. Out into the world to live his love, craft his kingdom, speak his story, sing his song.

For an ending to a conference on living the virtues to the full, it was a triumphant closing moment.

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And now... it's off to London I go. Cheerio.