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Hallo again to all.

Trees swayed violently in the wind, their branches whipping onto the windows and the side of the house. Safely inside, we stared at the fluttering leaves and and heard the alternating whistles and howls of the of each gust. The endless grey sky both calm and foreboding. It was not till hours later that the sky grew darker, our windows momentarily brightening with flashes of powerful light and accompanied by loud, long rumbles in the distance, eventually mellowing into a steady pitter patter of water splashing against the roof, window sills, and, eventually the ground.

The Gospels of Matthew, Mark, and Luke all recall Jesus calming the storm, leaving a peaceful sea. The trope of 'it was a dark and stormy night' has graced many television screens, typewriters and computers. World Famous Author Snoopy of Peanuts fame was stuck with that first line of a novel for decades, and there is even a whimsical annual literary contest whose winners often feature those words, its 1984 compilation of winners bearing this name. Anglican author and librarian Madeleine L'Engle even managed to open an award-winning book with the phrase, which traces itself back to the 1809 Knickerbocker's History of New York by Washington Irving.*

We found a comfortable familiarity in the harshness that faced us out of doors. Wind and water, both holy and cooling, dangerous and uprooting. Life bringing, cleansing, and tumultuous. Fire and flame. The Holy Spirit and God. Life bringing, cleansing, and tumultuous. Gift. Love. Peace and calm.

Last month we attended a wedding which featured the well known mariners hymn 'Eternal Father Strong to Save' during the service. Though we were initially surprised by this choice for a wedding, upon further thought it was sensible both for their familial histories and as metaphor for marriage.†

Eternal Father, strong to save,
Whose arm hath bound the restless wave,
Who bidd'st the mighty ocean deep
Its own appointed limits keep
Oh, hear us when we cry to thee,
For those in peril on the sea!

O Christ! Whose voice the waters heard
And hushed their raging at thy word,
Who walked'st on the foaming deep,
And calm amidst its rage didst sleep;
Oh, hear us when we cry to thee,
For those in peril on the sea!

Most Holy Spirit! Who didst brood
Upon the chaos dark and rude,
And bid its angry tumult cease,
And give, for wild confusion, peace;
Oh, hear us when we cry to thee,
For those in peril on the sea!

O Trinity of love and power!
Our brethren's shield in danger's hour;
From rock and tempest, fire and foe,
Protect them wheresoe'er they go;
Thus evermore shall rise to thee
Glad hymns of praise from land and sea.

Like ocean voyages, usually marriages and churches weather the storm and keep going.

Regardless of storm or wind, we will see you next week.‡

Our signature
All of us at Anglicans Online

30 July 2016

*Though often attributed to English novelist Edward Bulwer-Lytton in his 1830 novel Paul Clifford.

†The hymn, with words by an Englishman and music by an American well-reflected in part this marriage between an English historian and American artist.

‡Unless you lose power! We have a UPS (Uninterruptible Power Supply).


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