One in heart
Psalm 68: 32-35 (NRSVA)
32 Sing to God, O kingdoms of the earth;
sing praises to the Lord,Selah
33 O rider in the heavens, the ancient heavens;
listen, he sends out his voice, his mighty voice.
34 Ascribe power to God,
whose majesty is over Israel;
and whose power is in the skies.
35 Awesome is God in his sanctuary,
the God of Israel;
he gives power and strength to his people.
Blessed be God!
Since 2000, I have spent time each year with the Taizé community, as one of their thousands of visitors. This year, my week in the Burgundy region of France will not be possible due to the lockdown.
Drawn from around the world, the brothers of this ecumenical community live a simple life of prayer and work, with a particular heart for young people aged between 18 and 30 years.
The brothers’ life is structured by the monastic rhythm of services, work, eating, time alone for study and prayer, and overnight silence.
Services in the Church of the Reconciliation welcome all to join – pick up a song book and readings at the door and sit where you like. The services are unannounced. All worshippers face the same way towards the front, there is no hierarchy coming to worship, before God we are all equal.
The reading speaks for itself, read in French and English, the key verse is then read in German, and other languages represented amongst the guests.
Songs are short melodies, oft repeated. Their words are simple verses of Scripture proclaiming God’s presence, encouraging our hearts and inviting us to trust Him. Prayer through song. Each service has an eight minute silence at its centre, where we wait together on what God might wish to say, before then making our intercessions.
This way of life goes on day by day, month by month, year by year.
France has been in lockdown since March, the brothers split into smaller households. Their offering to the world has been a simple film recording of their evening prayer inviting people to pray with them. A network of Christians from around the world, of many denominations and ages, brought together through the wonder of a website, to praise God and pray for the world.
Thank you God for the wonders of technology,
That give us the means to be together, yet apart.
Together in prayer, in worship, in conversation,
Apart in distance, but as one in heart.
Scattered to households across the world,
Simple melodies shared,
Profound repeated words sink deep,
We pray subconsciously.