I can recall where I was exactly on this day in 2001, a Junior in High School sitting in my U.S. History class, surrounded by fear and uncertainty that our country was attacked and countless innocent people lost their lives. It was a composition of evil and discord.
A year after the tragedy, I was working as Music Director at an Episcopal Church and had the pleasure of collaborating with a musician who composed a piece on a lament psalm to commemorate the anniversary.
At first, she seemed occupied and not fully present at rehearsal, but when the time came for the assembly to sing her composition, she was filled with delight and joy for she reaped the year long work to bring about healing during that uncertain time.
This calls to mind the psalm we prayed at Vespers, “If the Lord does not build the house, in vain to its builders labor” (Psalm 127:1). If we build the house of God, we will disconnect ourselves from God’s plan and be a people of violence and retaliation, a people promoting our own values and agendas. We become a people living in vain.
At times, we may view God to be occupied or not fully present, as I felt the composer’s demeanor to be. Yet, the opposite is true. God is carefully building, God is quietly composing something terribly beautiful in us.
Today, we still live in the bondage of violence, especially with the event surrounding Syria. Yet, in the middle of it all, God is fashioning us, composing in us, the song of his peace and love, the song to advance the Reign of the Father to be people of peace in a violent time in our history.
God is very interested and invested in the work he has begun in us! Just like the composer of this simple hymn many years ago in my story, God will hear and God will delight in the final cadence of his Word, in the perfected phrases of our ministry, and in the notation of perfect love that he has composed in us as we give our lives over to him in formation everyday.
All will hear of the work he has done in us and God’s people will carry their sheaves of peace and they will sing of the faithful One who delivered their ancestors long ago and who delivers us now. At that perfect time, God, the Master Composer, the builder of the house, will be pleased and we will not be a people in vain.