Variation Voices

Edward Elgar, the British composter came home after a trying day at work.  He sat down at the piano and began to plink away little tunes.  His wife was delighted by them.  All of this led to the Enigma Variations where Elgar wrote this short piece of music remembering friends and colleagues.  He composed 14 tunes remembering “my friends pictured within.”  He challenged his audience to guess who they were. 

 

In this engaging piece of music Elgar remembers his wife, a pianist, an author, a country squire, a philosopher, a student, a house of a friend, an organist, a cellist and other friends.  

 

 Our world has gotten to the point where meanness carries the tide; where name calling has reached unfathomable levels of despair and where four letter words are used in every other sentence to make a valid point.   We act like we are on a treadmill dreading the awful news of the next day to carry us to the next day to the next day. 

 

 

Our world has gotten to the point where meanness carries the tide; where name calling has reached unfathomable levels of despair and where four letter words are used in every other sentence to make a valid point.   We act like we are on a treadmill dreading the awful news of the next day to carry us to the next day to the next day. 

 

Here is an idea.  Join with me naming the names of family, loved ones, friends and neighbors in your life who personally gave you words of hope, smiles of encouragement and steadfast support.

 

I believe you will be surprised how quickly names come to mind from your past and present life.   Maybe these names have been lodged in your hearts waiting to be recognized in a thankful spirit. 

 

I’m sure you can recall when someone said to you, ‘I love you” when you felt unlovable.”  “I forgive you when you felt guilty of an act.”   “I want to listen to you” even though you were lonely.

 

No, we do not have to come up with 14 names of remembered people in our lives as Elgar did in his Enigma Variations.  The number is not what counts but recalling someone throwing out a life line to you when things looked bleak and dark.

 

 Variation Voices remembers all those who stood out like beacons of light in our lives.  Thanks be to God.  

 

 

“Now there are varieties of gifts, but the same Spirit….these are varieties of services and activities…but it is the same God who activated all of them in everyone.”                I Corinthians 12:4-6

 

                                

                                                                    

 

 

-Dan Schmiechen    

 

                               

 

 

 


Let the Scriptures Speak

Buy An Understandable Bible Translation: Speak to Pastors Eliot and Lawrence for recommendations.

 

Church Year: Epiphany means “to show”, “to make known”, “to reveal” the church’s service to the wider world.  This season runs till Ash Wednesday, March 1 – beginning of Lent.  Colors are gold and white. 

 

Daily Scripture Reading: *Choose time of day  *Choose a quiet place  *Light a candle (symbol of God’s presence)  *Begin with a prayer (Open my heart to your Word, O God.”   *Close with a prayer (May your presence be with me today.”

 

In Conversation with Scripture:  The Bible is filled with a variety of writings.  A few examples – poetry (Psalms); history (Joshua and judges); prophets (Joel, Isaiah, Micah); Gospels (Matthew, Mark, Luke, John); the early Christian Church (Paul’s Letters) and end times (Revelation).  It is helpful to know what type of writings you are reading.  Again, check background information in your Bible.  

 

Spiritual Practice:  *When you read scripture, what word/thought comes to your attention)?  *What do these words say to you?  *What do you hear God saying to you?

 

Bible Readings For The Week:Sunday, February 12 :John 8:12-19 ; Monday, February 13: Mark 11:1-11;  Tuesday, February 14: Mark 11:12-26;  Wednesday, February 15: Mark 11:27-12:12;  Thursday, February 16: Mark 12:13-27;  Friday, February 17: Mark 12:28-34;  Saturday, February 18: Mark 12:35-44.  Pray your own prayers. 

   

 

 Dan Schmiechen is a retired minister and member of Linden Hills United Church of Christ.

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