#Song4Lent · Bible Study · Church of England · Churches Together in Britain · Felixstowe · Lent · Movie · Musical Theatre

A Song for Lent – Day 31 – In the End we Find the Rainbow’s End at Home

To Read: Click on song title to watch a video

Over the Rainbow

from The Wizard of Oz

Somewhere over the rainbow, way up high
And the dreams that you dream of, once in a lullaby
Somewhere over the rainbow, blue birds fly
And the dreams that you dream of, dreams really do come true

Someday I’ll wish upon a star
Wake up where the clouds are far behind me
Where trouble melts like lemon drops
High above the chimney top
That’s where you’ll find me

Somewhere over the rainbow, bluebirds fly
And the dream that you dare to
Why, oh why can’t I?

Someday I’ll wish upon a star
Wake up where the clouds are far behind me
Where trouble melts like lemon drops
High above the chimney top
That’s where you’ll find me

Somewhere over the rainbow, way up high
And the dream that you dare to
Why, oh why can’t I?

From the Scriptures:

Then God said to Noah and to his sons with him, ‘As for me, I am establishing my covenant with you and your descendants after you, 10 and with every living creature that is with you, the birds, the domestic animals, and every animal of the earth with you, as many as came out of the ark. 11 I establish my covenant with you, that never again shall all flesh be cut off by the waters of a flood, and never again shall there be a flood to destroy the earth.’ 12 God said, ‘This is the sign of the covenant that I make between me and you and every living creature that is with you, for all future generations: 13 I have set my bow in the clouds, and it shall be a sign of the covenant between me and the earth. 14 When I bring clouds over the earth and the bow is seen in the clouds, 15 I will remember my covenant that is between me and you and every living creature of all flesh; and the waters shall never again become a flood to destroy all flesh. 16 When the bow is in the clouds, I will see it and remember the everlasting covenant between God and every living creature of all flesh that is on the earth.’ 17 God said to Noah, ‘This is the sign of the covenant that I have established between me and all flesh that is on the earth.’

Genesis 9.8-17

To Reflect:

If only we could go there now? Straight away, be transported into Glory and finally know the fullness of the love our Beloved has for us and come to that moment when we see God ‘face to face’?

How many times in the struggle to live a life of love, when we have been knocked back by an uncaring wicked world and hindered on our journey to holiness by our own wilfulness, do we with Dorothy want a ‘get out of this life free card’?

Why, oh why can’t I?

It is so tempting to wish our life away to a place paved with Yellow Wizard of OzBricks, where you defeat the Wicked Witch, a good fairy guides you, and on the road you discover three good friends and a Wizard with all the answers. But life, and the life of faith is not as simple as that.

Amongst the African Independent Churches there are two strands of faith; Zionist and Ethiopian.

The Zionist churches recognise that we live in a fallen world full of pain and suffering. When their members gathers together all their hope is on the future.  They sing of ‘Jerusalem the Golden’and look for the time when we will be taken out of this ‘naughty world.’

The Ethiopian Churches recognise that the Gospel came to Africa before it was taken to Europe (Acts 8.26-40) and Christ came to live in a fallen world full of pain.  When their members gather together they sing of a God who is ‘Ngcwele, ngcwele, Somandla’(Holy, Holy, Almighty) ever-present to help and to save now as well as in the future.

These two views are present in Western Christianity as well.  There is a tendency to either be a ‘gathered’ congregation that sees Sunday worship as a refuge (Zionist) or a ‘dispersed parish’ where Sunday worship encourages you to change the world during the week (Ethiopian).

Of course what is needed is both.  Like Dorothy we need to occasionally find ourselves ‘Not, in Kansas anymore’ and also, even though we remain orphans in this world, there is indeed ‘No Place Like Home’. It was a mark of singular genius from the casting director in the original movie to have the characters in Oz played by the same actors as the characters in Kansas.

For now, for a little while, the Rainbow’s End is found at home ‘now’ while we work and pray and wait to find ourselves at our home ‘then’.

So we are always confident;

even though we know that while we are at home in the body

we are away from the Lord –

for we walk by faith, not by sight.

Yes, we do have confidence,

and we would rather be away from the body

and at home with the Lord.

So whether we are at home or away,

we make it our aim to please him.

2 Corinthians 5.6-8

To Pray: 

God of many names,
my name is known to you.
I am held in the hand of your life,
and I do not know what you will make of me.
All I know is that I cannot make myself
any more than I could in my mother’s womb.
But this I can do,
this I choose,
to give myself into the hand of your continuing creativity.
My past, with its joys and triumphs, its failures and regrets.
My present, with its struggles and accomplishments, its failures and regrets.
My future, with its fears and freedom, its pain and promise.
To loose and to bind, to stretch and to shape,
to become what I will,
trusting the hand that made the world
trusting the spirit that breathes life
trusting the love that will not let me go
trusting the promise of the Word made flesh.

Kathy Galloway, Scotland

  

To Do:

1)  Sing, or listen, to your favourite song about being at home with the Lord.  My favourite is Amy Grant’s In a Little While.
2)  Pray about one thing you could do to help take ‘Sunday into Monday’ and use your faith to help earth become a little more like heaven.

Encore: Click on song title to watch a video

Andrew Lloyd-Webber wrote four news songs for the Wizard of Oz. Nobody Understands Meis the lament of a teenage orphan girl who, right at the very beginning of the story wonders if there is a place where she can be understood.  There must be Somewhere…

  

Acknowledgements:

Prayers are from ‘Prayers Encircling the World’ and are copyright © SPCK: 1998.
Scripture quotations are copyright © New Revised Standard Version Bible: Anglicized Edition, copyright 1989, 1995, Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
These Reflections, ‘A Song for Lent – 40 Days in the West End’ are copyright © Andrew Dotchin 2018

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