Last night

Advent Vespers. The grandest organ you’ve ever laid eyes upon. Voices of the choir like angels filling the chapel. The Latin that made me angry in my youth is balm to my weary soul in this season of grief.

“For there is something odd about God:  From the beginning of time, God never chooses the kind of people we might expect to accomplish the divine agenda…God’s unexpected witnesses.

And all of us here tonight–readers and singers, watchers and hearers–are also part of that band of unexpected witnesses, ‘God’s chosen ones.'”

And then

Amos’ words read. A reading from the book of Amos.

Words from God to His Chosen Ones

seared my soul

I can’t stand your religious meetings.
I’m fed up with your conferences and conventions.

With my attendance to Vespers?

I want nothing to do with your religion projects,
your pretentious slogans and goals.

I’m so sorry.

I’m sick of your fund-raising schemes,
your public relations and image making.

Am I guilty?

I’ve had all I can take of your noisy ego-music.
When was the last time you sang to me?

When Lord?  Have I ever?

Do you know what I want?
I want justice—oceans of it.
I want fairness—rivers of it.

I’ve not sang to you, Lord.
Is it possible you would accept my song now?

this

is what i want to sing,

if You will accept it from me, an unlikely character in your band of unexpected witnesses

veni, veni, Emmanuel

veni, veni, Adonai