By Joyce Sasse
Submitted by Catherine Christie
Editors note: this is an Easter memory from Joyce Sasse, reproduced from her ebook, Gleanings from a Prairie Pastor (available for downloading from Centre for Rural Community Leadership and Ministry, www.circle-m.ca)
One Easter Sunday I spoke about how Beethoven, at the darkest point in his life, wrote the magnificent music that concludes with the “Ode to Joy”.
In preparation for that service I arranged for the local pet-shop owner to loan us a few birds in cages.
She agreed but wondered how much singing the birds would do in a new setting. “I’ll send a pair of lovebirds,” she said. “They chortle to each other … And we can try a canary. No guarantees!”
The Sanctuary buzzed with Easter excitement as I arrived. Of course the children noticed. Their eyes sparkled as they approached the cages.
The lovebirds chirped to each other. But the canary looked ready to take flight … helpless in the midst of the space and the cacophony of sound. Her only protection – the bars of her cage.
Through the first part of the Service, timid to the core, she shrunk into herself.
Then, as she heard the sound of the piano and organ during the Offertory, the music connected with something in her.
She tried a few notes of the scale… Slowly the song started to flow … with more power … more beauty … as I spoke … as we prayed … and particularly as the choir sang their “Ode to Joy”!
What more fitting parable can we find – for us and for our community of faith-filled members.
Each of us have God-given gifts that make us special. And as we share of our gifts, the joy and satisfaction we receive back fills our hearts to over-flowing.
Even the darkest night is pregnant with messages of hope as we listen for the voices of the dawn. Hallelujah! We are not alone! With the dawn, we realize the Son of God has been “let loose in the world”. Hallelu!