Daily Worship

Joan of Arc

Roderick MacLeod November 19, 2016 0 1

Esther 4:13-14

13 he sent back this answer: ‘Do not think that because you are in the king’s house you alone of all the Jews will escape. 14 For if you remain silent at this time, relief and deliverance for the Jews will arise from another place, but you and your father’s family will perish. And who knows but that you have come to your royal position for such a time as this?’

'Joan of Arc' is not a song of remembrance for me but it exudes nostalgia. I came across it the other day, trying to make sense of Leonard Cohen's death. While I was vaguely aware of the person, I couldn't name any of his songs. Scanning the airwaves on the car radio, I came across 'Joan of Arc'. Her story is tragic but the poignancy of Cohen's words and the ethereal beauty of Pauline Scanlon's music elevates it:


"I saw her wince, I saw her cry,

I saw the glory in her eyes.

Myself I long for love and light,

But must it come so cruel, and oh so bright?"





God of love and light,

be with those who are paying the price for their fierce commitment:

to do what is right, whatever the cost,

to stand up for the oppressed, scorning ridicule,

to keep the faith, in spite of doubts.


We could all do something of Joan of Arc:

her awareness of your terrible closeness,

her willingness to rise to the moment.


Instinctively we salute extraordinary lives

in extraordinary times, but might we recognise as noble too

those who defy terrible circumstances, 

to live ordinary lives?



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