Today’s reflection comes to us from Dr. Charlotte Hogg, a professor in the TCU English Department. I had the privilege of taking a creative non-fiction writing class from her many moons ago. She is wise and funny, creative and kind; I’m honored to share her words with you this morning.
“Day by day
Day by day
Oh, Dear Lord
Three things I pray
To see thee more clearly
Love thee more dearly
Follow thee more nearly
Day by day” –Robin Lamont, Godspell, 1973
When I was quite young, my parents went on a rare date night to a movie; what they wanted to see was sold out, so they picked a film that had open seats: Godspell. Even my stoic dad loved it, this musical version of the Gospel of Matthew in which Jesus and his disciples were portrayed as hippies, dancing in floppy hats and scrappy clothes. The disciples took in Jesus’ messages of love and inclusiveness. My mom bought the soundtrack, and I would listen over and over again to the songs, not fully understanding all of the messages.
Years later I bought Godspell on DVD, feeling sunny as they sang and danced to these songs that took me back to my childhood and where the diverse cast of apostles beamed when in the presence of Jesus. The movie was critically panned and controversially ends with the crucifixion and not the resurrection, and yet watching it was joyful, a reminder that the parables in the Gospel of Matthew are both as simple and as complicated as humans, but mostly a reminder that Jesus is all about compassion and love. I listen to the soundtrack repeatedly during Lent, taking in its earnestness and awe that can feel so hard to come by these days. It slows me down during what in the school calendar is usually a most frantic time, the song “Day By Day” taking on an almost meditative quality with its repetition and hopefulness to find the Lord more fully.
Dear Lord: help me know and remember that every day is a chance to reset and seek to know you better, and in the process move beyond the busy-ness and details that can overtake our days. Help me most of all to practice the love and compassion modeled by Jesus day by day.
[Godspell, photo from Patheos.com]