A Message from Pastor Dave Schreiber
Dear Risen Lord disciples:
It’s not often that I’m at a loss for words. Those of you who know me, know I like to talk. It’s an occupational hazard, I suppose. Preachers gonna preach, right? That’s not to say I’ve never found myself silenced. Music often does that trick, when text and tune combine to overwhelm my soul and render me unable to make a sound, let alone sing. So, I am compelled in that silence to let the people of God sing for me. Congregational singing is one of things I miss most in this long and cursed pandemic.
This last week, the Church lost a gifted composer and beloved professor of Church Music…but Carl Schalk was also a friend and mentor to me when I served years ago at Grace Lutheran in River Forest, IL, where he was a member. His choral anthems and hymns were often responsible for my losing my voice, as the Gospel proclaimed in that beautiful music filled my heart. However, that same Gospel assures me that Carl’s voice is not silenced; for he sings now in the eternity of Christ, along with our Betty, and now so sadly this past week, our Joan Estes…and all the saints in light.
Yes, death has cast its shadow over us all in this long pandemic. Covid has taken far, far too many of us. In our grief, it has often put us at a different kind of loss for words. Yet, when we are at a loss for words, the Word comes to us in our loss. The Word made flesh, Jesus Christ, stands with us in our grief and silence. And in that accompanied silence, then, comes praise -- for the Word of God, the crucified and risen Christ, accompanies us through death to life. And so, we can find our voices and sing. Someday, post-Covid, blessedly together again.
Two of Carl’s tunes are swimming in my head today. Look them up in your hymnal or online and sing with me:
“Now the silence / Now the peace / Now the empty hands uplifted / Now the kneeling / Now the plea / Now the Father’s welcome / Now / Now / Now ” (Now the Silence, ELW #460)
“Thine the glory in the night, no more dying only light / Thine the river, thine the tree, then the Lamb eternally / Then the holy, holy, holy celebration jubilee / Thine the splendor, thine the brightness / Only Thee / Only Thee” (Thine the Amen, ELW #826)
Be well, friends. You are loved.
Pastor Dave Schreiber