Singing the Weight of God’s Glory

Music is a part of worship of God not because it sounds good in our ears or makes worship livelier, but because words alone are insufficient to describe the weight of the glory of God.

I enjoy Handle’s ‘Messiah’. But when I was listening to it at the 10:00 PM Christmas Eve service at SJD Houston, it occurred to me that a few sentences that would take a contemporary song writer to finish singing in, may be, 60 seconds took Handle’s genius 15 minutes to complete. The same sentences are repeated over and over again. Repetitions generally distract my mind. My critical mind was asking, “Why so many repetitions????”.  Then a switch in my mind flipped, and I think, my appreciative mind started working and I again asked, “Why so many repetitions!!!!”.

It is the exploration of these questions that caused me to I state in one of my earlier blogs entries that I wanted to enumerate and (try to) capture in words the experience of worship of Jesus Christ at at SJD. So here is my attempt at capturing in words what I so vividly remember to be my experience of the weight of Glory of God as exemplified in the singing of the SJD choir. What makes my attempt monstrously difficult for me is that I am musically illiterate in my mind, ear and vocabulary. So my attempt to write this is I believe, like a blind man trying to describe a painting to folks that can see.

In my wonderment of why there should have been so  many repetition in Handle’ Messiah, I observed the song intently. I noticed that in the song, the word ‘glory’ was repeated many times, perhaps too many times than usual. And every time, the word ‘glory’ was sung, it wasn’t just sung normally, it was often accompanied with, what I would call, ‘musical flourishes/inflexion???’ (sorry limited musical vocabulary). It seemed as though Handle seemed to give special emphasis to the phrase ‘glory of the Lord’, and especially to the word ‘glory’, by having it repeated many times.
A good Christian friend of mine by name Jim said in one of his Bible study classes that when we say the word ‘glory’ we don’t fully grasp the ‘heaviness’ of the word implied in describing the incredible weight of the glory of God. I believe that when Handle used the word ‘glory,’ he realized its deficiency in depicting the immense weight of the glory of God. Yes, language is deficient when it tries to describe God. God substantially and sufficiently communicates His Truths to human beings through propositional language. But when human beings try to describe the weight of the glory of God just through propositional statements, it simply does not suffice. If language had been all sufficient, Paul wouldn’t have had to resort to unutterable groan in his prayers.
I think it is precisely because of this limitations of language that God wants human beings to worship Him not just with words, but with ‘harps and chambals’. So that the music would add more weight to the words and there by human expression of worship would get closer in trying to justifiably describe the ‘weight of God’s glory’. On a side note, it is unfortunate that some contemporary Christians (and Christian song writers) think that we worship God with (good) music because it sounds good in our ears and makes worship a ‘lively’ thing to do. No, I don’t believe that, I think,  we worship God with (great) music because the heaviness of God’s glory cannot be worthily  described in words alone, something more of human musical/art expression is needed to (try to) describe the weight of God’s glory. I think Handle Messiah precisely understood this Truth.
In the Messiah, when the word ‘glory’ was sung, Handle often seemed to give the word ‘glory’ a simple musical tune, he gives it a longer musical inflexion (sorry, limited musical vocabulary) so that the word is not just uttered in ½ a second it would normally take it to be uttered, but is sung for 7 or 8 seconds. Then he feels that this isn’t enough to depict the weight of God’s glory, so he adds some inflexion to the underlying tune which makes it difficult for the singer to sing, after all ‘glory’ is a ‘heavy’ word that ought not be lightly sung. Even then, he is not satisfied, so he makes the singer sing g-l-o-r-y and then he again makes the singer repeat again G—L—O—R—Y, adding more weight.
Then, there are places where the phrase ‘glory of the Lord’ occurs. Here he makes the tune and the song to double back on itself (limited musical vocabulary) so that the phrase ‘glory of the Lord’ is sung over and over again. I think there is a point where the phrase is repeated nearly ten times. Because singing it just once, does not sufficiently express the weight that the word deserves. But even after the repetitions, Handle Messiah, rightly, isn’t content, the weight of glory is too heavy, he tunes the repetitions such that the musical ‘four parts’ crescendo occurs exactly when the words ‘glory of the Lord’ is sung.
It appears to me that Handle Messiah appears to have orchestrated the whole of the song to make all the singer and the musicians to GIVE THEIR BEST when the phrase ‘glory of the Lord’ is sung. It only seems right that the word ‘glory of the Lord’ needs to be sung with the BEST of human abilities to (try to) worthily describe the weight of the God’s glory. And perhaps even then the description would be like that of a blind man describing a painting to a man with sight, but at least it wouldn’t be like a man with sight describing a painting to a man who is blind. For when it comes to matters of God, it is prudent to act blind and speak with ‘fear and trembling’ (as led by the Holy Spirit) rather than assume clear sight and speak folly.
Then I also noticed that similar repetitions happened with a few other phrases as well ‘Behold the Lord’ for one, which is repeated with reverence and awe. In another song ‘Oh, Come let us adore Him’ which is repeated thrice with increasing volume that builds up to a crescendo. Once I understood the reason for the repetitions, I couldn’t help getting overwhelmed with repetitious expressions of the weight of the glory of God. I can understand now why Handel’s Messiah, as time consuming as it is, is truly a timeless piece. It cares not for time, it cares only for the ‘ordinate’ expression of God’s glory, and in the process transcends time. How infinitesimal the quantity of ‘time’ is when compared with the quantity of the ‘weight’ of God’s glory.
My renewed understanding of the need for repetitions and long flourishes and four-part musical crescendos helped me appreciate, immensely enjoy and really be awed at the experience of singing the weight of the glory of the Lord, that by the time we were done with all of the singing and the service was complete, I wanted to do it all over again. I wanted to hear all of the songs sung by the SJD Choir once more so that I would get lost in the gorgeous expression of the overwhelming weight of God’s glory. I couldn’t accept the fact that I had to wait for another whole year before I could get to experience this ‘weighty worship’ again. I told myself that I was not going to wait until the next year, I wanted to re-live the experience of the ‘singing the weight of glory’ by writing about it and (trying to) capture it in words, as mediocre and insufficient as my attempt may be.

Psalm 115:1  Not unto us, O LORD, not unto us, But to Your name give glory

A Blessed Christmas With God

I have just returned from attending almost 2 1/2 Christmas services this evening since 5 pm to 12:00 pm in two different Churches, my Episcopal Church and the Ecclesia Church. I have never had such an awesome worship of the Lord before. I just can’t enumerate how wonderful the services were. I need to enumerate and capture my joy at experience of God, which I shall do later in another blog entry. Even as I was worshiping I had at least two insights about worship in Christmas. The insights that one gets during worship are awesome because I believe they are inspired by the Spirit of God.

I was at Ecclesia for the 5:00 pm service and as the worship started, I was wondering to myself what this was all about. I was dead tired. I had had just 3:30 hrs of sleep the prior night and I was also a little disappointed with myself that I had to spend Christmas alone, without any family or festivities or Christian friends to spend Christmas with. I had a mild headache as well.  I was completely drained and I thought that this was my worst Christmas ever. So, at the start of worship, this question,  “What it was all really about?” seemed quite pertinent to me. Then like a flash, I realized that this was ALL about Jesus Christ. It was not about me or about how I felt about my sorry lonely drained predicament.  This re-orientation of focus on God who is True, Beautiful and Good gave to me the right Spirit, one which is self-forgetful and God adoring, to really worship God.
The second insight I got happened a little later during worship, I really am not able to remember the context of how a chain of thoughts came about which made me think about Christmas worship. But out of nowhere a thought occurred to me that as I was worshiping God and adoring Jesus Christ, because God was in a timeless world, to Him it would appear that I was along-side the Wise men and the Shepherds worshiping the new born Christ at Bethlehem. That I am 2000 years separated from the event is only a limitation of the reality as I see it. In God’s eyes, my worship is not bound by time and so my worship is happens real-time as Jesus Christ is born. There is not limits to how this thought thrilled me. To realize that my worship of God during Christmas was not just a commemoration of Birth of God, but actually seen by God a real-time worship of Jesus Christ along side the Shepherds and Wise Men, added an entire new dimension to worship. My worship changed from worship commemorative of a past event to real-time worship.
Then I went to my Episcopal Church for the 10:00 pm service. Oh, my gosh!!! It was the best worship ever. The choir’s worship was astounding. I’ll write more on that later. I was sitting there listening to the worship and participating in the worship of God in my Spirit by attributing all the worship by the Choir to God by imagining this Choir to be singing real-time beside the Shepherds and Wise men and I also imagined me standing there real-time alongside the shepherds and wise men, in awe of the most High God being worshiped by the best of human abilities.
As is obvious in my prior blog entries, I have been questioning myself as to why I have been alone during Christmas and why I wasn’t spending Christmas with any of my Christian friends in Houston. But looking back, I realize that I was really able to involve myself in an awesome worship only because my mind was free and was not tied up in thinking about other festivities. I remember other Christmases where there have been some festivities which ‘tied’ my mind to the earthly and I wouldn’t be able to really have the ‘abandonment towards God’ during worship.
This Christmas I have been lonely, but the loneliness helped me get closer to God. Though alone, I was with God like I was never before. Yes, as I said in my prior blog entry, I think it is disappointing that I don’t have friends in Houston, to invite me for Christmas, but God turned that into something good. That I had none to spend Christmas with has become a blessing in disguise, in that I was truly able to spend Christmas with God.  I am planning to order some Pizzas and have Christmas lunch with my Hindu and Muslim colleagues who live in my apartments. May God be praised.

A Lonely Christmas – A Sobering Solitude

So here is the third Christmas I am away from family and feeling lonely. My vacation was in the month of February, so I don’t get to be with family during Christmas. Yesterday, one of my friends asked me if someone in my Christian friends circle had invited me to spend Christmas with their family. I said no, and that I wasn’t bothered that I wasn’t. Today, my father asked me why none, from the many Churches that I went to, had invited me. It was tough to give an answer, the way the question was phrased. I finally said, “Well, folks are busy”. My Dad found it incredible that I was not invited at all. That bothered me and got me thinking…
I don’t lack Christian friends in Houston. On an average I spend about 10 – 12 hours a week with Churches and Church related fellowships, that is excluding the social events I get invited to by folks in the Christian fellowships. I go to three Churches an Episcopal (which is my mother Church), an Emergent and a non-deonominational, (rarely I also go to an AG church and an Orthodox Church). I enjoy my Church life in Houston. I attend multiple services and multiple small group fellowships in the three Churches. I folks lots of in the small group fellowships who can be called ‘friends’. So I too really find it incredible that I am having to spend Christmas alone devoid of any Christmas festivities.
I can perfectly accept the fact that I haven’t been invited by anyone here, because everyone is crazily busy during Christmas. If I were to have a family of my own here and if there was to be a new guy here who did not have a family, and was lonely during Christmas, I too may have been too crazily busy with my own family affairs during Christmas that the thought of inviting him may never have crossed my mind.
Besides, getting invited for Christmas is often a matter of time, chance and matter. When I meet families at Church fellowships, if time, chance and matter were if any help, it would have ‘occurred’ to them that I would be alone during Christmas, they would have felt like wanting to invite me. But I think, the confluence of time, chance and matter this time wasn’t in my favor during this Christmas season. When I met people at Church, it did not ‘occur’ to anyone to even ask what I was up to during Christmas. This just is the way it IS. This isn’t anything to regret over.
The reason why I write what I write is not to rant about situations, but to reason with myself as to why I find myself in this predicament. After all, most writing that is done in journals and blogs is an act of reasoning to ones own self to make sense of life.
Apart from the two reasons stated above, I believe there is a third reason which I believe, is essentially the root cause as to why I am having to spend this Christmas alone. I am going to take the longer route to get to this reason. I believe it has to do with how people build relationships in their lives.
There are I believe, at least three types of relationships
1. Acquaintances
2. Friends
3. Caring Relationships
Family and close friends fall under the category of ‘caring relationships’. The reason why I believe I haven’t been invited by anyone for Christmas , in spite of all the long hours I have clocked in Church fellowships and related social event, may be because I have never really fostered ‘caring relationships’. In other words, I don’t have close friends here. I have got lots of friends, singles and families, in Christian circles and lot more acquaintances. There are quite a good number of friends I meet with often, almost weekly. There are two or three who would qualify for fairly close friends whom I meet over lunch or dinner and chat for a couple of hours about life and stuff. But I now begin to doubt if I really have any deeply close friends who really care.
I wonder why this is so, that I don’t really have close friends in the US. I wonder if there is something wrong with my personality or with my lifestyle that has prevented me from having deeply close friends in the US. I do not know the answer. By the time I figure out the answer, if at all I figure it out, I believe I would have gone past the sobering phase of my solitary Christmas season.
I believe something good has come out of this hitherto lonely experience, at least in that I now know a little bit more about me and my life and the kind of relationships that I have in he US.
Is he alone he who writes.
Is he alone he who reads.
Reader communes with the Author.
Writer communes with himsef.
But one cannot read all the time,
Neither can one write all the time.
All activities have an end. Good solitude begins.
But when unhealthy, morphs into loneliness.
Why is the sensitive soul lonely?
Why does the lonely soul need
Someone to care about
And to be cared for by someone?
Caring relationship, unlike reading and writing
Has a life of its own which pervades
The realm of activities. And even when all activities stop
The relationship still exists.
When all activities, reading or writing, cease
And the mind cannot be distracted anymore,
The very sense of caring and being cared for
Stands its ground in the calm of the storm of pointless activity.

Christmas in India – A Reminiscent Account

As of this year 2009, I have had to spend the past two Christmases at Houston away from my family. Being nostalgic, I have been reminiscing quite a bit about my childhood Christmases in India. Below is an account of how Christmas in my part of India used to be. I will write a succinct account of festivities within the broader culture, then within the Christian circles, then within the Church and finally within the Christian homes.

First, about the festivities in the broader culture outside of the Christian-circle. Unlike the Christmas in the States, Back in India, we do not have radio stations playing Christmas songs all of December. Neither do we have ‘Happy Holiday’ bill boards or TV ads. Shops don’t have Christmas lights unless the shop is owned by a Christian. Some non-Christian owner will also have lights if he wants his shop to appear cool and trendy to his customers. The Human Resources managers in some Multi-National companies in cosmopolitan cities use the Christmas opportunity to have X’mas parties and spread some cheer among the employees to make them ‘feel good’ about the companies they work for. Of course, who wouldn’t like the Santa and chocolates and gifts. Shops and malls in bigger cities which have huge Multi-National corporations try to catch in on the wave of ‘spreading cheer’ to – why miss an opportunity to make people feel good and buy more (no rocket science there!).
Now, about the festivities within the Christian circles… When we were kids we lived in a densely populated residential area. During Christmas season, the Church choir will come singing Christmas carols to each of the Christian homes after 10:00 pm. The choir would go on from house to house till 3:00 am in the morning.
It is done this way because Jesus was supposedly born at night, secondly
because this way they can make sure that there is someone at the house
to answer the door. It doesn’t matter if someone looses a little sleep
one day a year during Christmas season, after all it is CHRISTMAS. They go knocking on each of the Christian houses and sing a carol song, then receive an ‘offering’ (contributions of money) and then move on to the next house. They have a Santa and chocolates and huge portable halogen lights… This group does what they do not to spread the Gospel, but to uphold a tradition. No matter what their motives, the kids in the houses really enjoy it. I remember when I and my sister used to be kids, we would hear the carols being sung at some house at the other end of the street and will eagerly wait by the window. And when the carol comes to the house adjacent to ours, our hearts would be thumping. They would come to our house, we would open the door and stand there. Everyone will be looking at us, we will be looking around shyly, the Santa would shake our hands and dance. When the song is over, the Santa would give us chocolates and someone would extend an offering box and my sister or I would place the offering. One year, my sister and I heard Christmas carol choir and we waited by the window, wide awake, but alas just a few houses ahead of ours the choir decided to call it a night. Needless to say, we did ‘lose some sleep over it’. 🙂
On one Christmas season, the Hindu lady adjacent to our house told us that she too would like for the Santa and the Carol Choir to come to her house, but that it never happened. My mother being the creative enterprising lady she was, had an idea. She asked me to get all the kids in the homes on the street our house was on, Christian and non-Christian. There were like 15 of us. We got one of the taller non-Christian kids to wear my mother’s red night robe and we had a Santa mask that came handy. We tied a pillow around the belly under the robe so that the Santa looked fat enough. My mother gave us chocolates and told us to go to all the non-Christian homes in our street to sing carols. We were to give chocolates, but not collect offering. I can’t forget how the Hindus living on in the houses on our street were overjoyed. I can’t forget that night. Of course, we were sensible enough, we started at 7:00 pm and were done by 9:00 pm.

The ‘tradition upholding’ Christian carol group apart there are some truly ‘compassionate’ Christian carol groups that, instead of going to Christian homes to collect ‘offering’, go to poor villages in the ‘suburbs’ and sing Carols in each of the non-Christian homes. They don’t take offering. They in true spirit of Christmas give gifts to the poor people. As a child, going for Christmas carols around the poor villages were awesome experiences.

Then there are some committed Christians who’ll have a Christmas party at their house or at a party hall and invite their non-Christian friends. They would invite a Christian speaker to share the gospel so that the Hindus will have a chance to listen to the gospel at the excuse of the party. In fact, the Christians in my company at India had one such party, you can see the photos here It was conducted in a Church near our company. The ones sitting in the pews are Hindus, you’ll notice that some women wear the ‘kunkum’ on their foreheads (If fact, it is based on this Hindu tradition of wearing the ‘kunkum on the foreheads that the phrase ‘dotted India’ came about, as against the ‘feathered India… if this makes no sense, never mind). 🙂
Then there are the Church festivities in the Church.  Most Christmas services aren’t Christmas eve services (as in the States), the Indian Christmas service starts at 4:30 am on the Christmas morning. The tradition being that Christ was born early in the morning, so we too have to be in Church early in the morning (if you are keeping count by now two nights of sleep is gone in the Christmas season :P). Anyways all those inconvenient traditions that bring meaning to life! 😀

Churches have massive decorations, lights all around, along the edges of every wall,  along the ridges of every section of the roof, all the way up to the Church spire. Some Churches have huge lighted stars hanging all along the way from the residential areas to the Church. As people go to the Church, it is symbolic of the Magi following the star. Every Christian house would have a huge lighted star hanging in front. In fact, you can walk into any street and count the stars and you’ll know the number of Christian homes in the street. The starts are generally huge colored paper stars with light bulbs within that make the star glow brightly at nights. Of course, there were were rivalries and jealousy among kids as to whose star looked the best!

All Indian Christians wear a new dress for Church on Christmas day. During Christmas service, the amount of gold the Indian ladies wear to Church would be more than any Bank would have in its lockers. Of course, in some sensitive areas there is police protection as well. Church service would get over by 6:00 am.

Then there are the festivities within the Christian homes. Of everything else, it is these festivities at my home are the ones that I miss the most. 😦 On Christmas day, as soon as we come home from Church, 6am-ish, we would have a brief family prayer. As soon as this was over, at about 7:00 pm, my sister and I, when we were kids, would run to the street to burst fireworks (crackers). In India, we did not have to get city permission for fireworks. Like folks in the US have ‘gun rights’, Indians have ‘firework rights’.

A HUGE part of the festivities of Christmas rested on my mother’s shoulders because the most important part of Christmas festivities would be sharing delicacies with non-Christians. My mom would have started planning for Christmas meal, the ‘Biriyani’, more than a week prior to Christmas. ‘Biriyani’ is a South Indian delicacy that is very rich in spices and tastes great to the South Indian pallet and it takes lots of preparation and a lot more patience. On Christmas day we would give Biriyani and Christmas cake to the non-Christian homes in our neighborhood and those not in our neighbourhood. My mother would prepare Biriyani in a 10 gallon cooking basin. We would hire a handmaid in addition to the full-time house-help to assist my mom with the cooking for this occasion.

Remember, before we went on this detour about the details of cooking, my sister and I were playing with fireworks starting 7:00 am. Of course, there would be friendly rivalries and jealousies among kids about who had the best collection of fireworks. Kids!!! Well, at about 11:00 am, my mother would call us and give us parcels of food to go and give to the non-Christian homes. My sister and I run to each of the houses nearby, to give food, the sooner this was done, the sooner we would get to have our Christmas lunch.  In fact, the non-Christians would be eagerly awaiting for my mother’s special Christmas Biriyani. I loved this part of my contribution to Christmas festivities, because it was the simplest, and more importantly because it was more rewarding, I got to see the happy faces of people. So by the time we are done with this it would almost by 2:00 pm. Then we would have the most tasty meal of the year. I would patiently eat for about an hour. Then have a peaceful sleep until evening. Christmas would be done. 😀
I miss those good ole days… so much that I cannot help but make a cheesy attempt at writing poetry.

Oh, the irony of life that when Good times pass-by
We know them to be ‘Good’ only after they have past us by.
But the gift of life are the sweet memories
Of the reminiscences of the Good.
Ironies of ‘This Life’ point to the Truths of the Next.
Past-taste of Good times gone by is the irony.
Past-tastes of the Good times, in Truth,
Are Fore-tastes of the Next Life!
For all things Good are subject under Christ,
After He ushered in a new Kingdom, at the first Christmas.
And every Christmas since endeavors to be a celebration of all things Good
In the Culture at large, in the Church and at the Homes of Christians!

Strange Mercies of the Giver of Givers

The ‘little drummer boy’ song is one of my favorite songs of Christmas time for two reasons. One, when I was a little kid, my mother taught me the meaning of the song. Two, the meaning of the song has been so ingrained in me that every time I sing it, it evokes in me the tenderest sentiments. Yes, sentiments are good, even when they are directed at God, for He created in us the ability to be sentimental.

My mother explained the song to me as follows… “When Jesus was born, great kings came and brought great gifts to the new born King. Even the shepherds brought sheep and everyone had something to GIVE. A little boy like you was standing there watching Kings on camels and shepherds with sheep. He was so sad because he had NOTHING to gift the sweetest little infant he had ever seen. He did not know what he could do. Suddenly, he had an idea. He was a drummer. He told himself that he was going to play the drum for Mary’s little boy. He told himself that he was going to play his BEST for Him. He played the best for Him and the little boy Jesus smiled at him.” Christmas is about making God smile by giving Him the best we have. Fallen beings as we are, it is indeed a ‘strange mercy’ that God should smile at what we can give Him.

Back in those days when India was still under colonial occupation, British missionaries supposedly, were frequenting the Hindu holy places to understand the Hinduism in order to find the right context to preach the good news. In India, there is a story of a British missionary who met a Hindu lady at the banks of the holy river Ganges. The lady walked up to the river with two of her little sons, one was partially lame the other was healthy. After a while, she came back with only the partially lame son. The British missionary had asked her why the other son was missing. She replied that she had sacrificed him to the gods. Aghast, the British missionary supposedly asked, “If you had to sacrifice a son, why did you not sacrifice the partially lame one”. She apparently replied, “I do not know about your gods, but to our gods we always give our Best”. The British missionary was FLOORED.

A Christian friend posted in Face book, “Christmas is not about spending all our money on gifts to make others happy and then we are miserable and broke the day after Christmas. Christmas is about focusing on the One who requires us to PAY NOTHING to live a life of abundance all year long. CHRISTMAS IS ABOUT CHRIST”.

Yes, I agree that we don’t need to go financially broke during Christmas by giving gifts to people for whom gifts hardly add any value to life other than creating a momentary ‘feel good’ sensation. Christmas is NOT about how good it makes us feel, it is about Christ. It is about doing things that make Him smile. But, I disagree in that we need to PAY NOTHING to make God smile. Christ is costly, for one, He requires of us a broken heart and a contrite spirit. God never comes cheap, He does come easy, but never cheap. I think one of the problems with contemporary Church is that it has made Christianity cheap and God cheaper. Historically, religion has always been a costly affair, followers of all religions have had to pay a heavy prize. Early Christians and Church fathers paid a heavy price. But the advent of post 21th century evangelical Christianity changed that, Christianity was made priceless in that it was made completely free. Martin Luther’s idea of ‘free provident grace’ has somehow mistakenly morphed into an idea of ‘free’ feel-good-God. It is in this context that C.S. Lewis said, “Catholicism is accused of resembling the pagan religions, but the problem with Protestantism is that it resembles no religion at all”.

Contemporary Christianity, especially during the Christmas season, has to make a ‘U-turn’ away from the ‘free’ feel-good-Christianity and ‘commercial’ spread-the-cheer-Christmas and return back to its roots of sacrificial, discerned and compassionate giving that pleases the Lord and makes Him smile. The ‘strange mercy’ of God is that even though everything that we have is already His, He makes it possible for us to give Him what is ours, by giving to the little ones around us.
The wise men expended their brilliance in seeking the King
The shepherds gifted the choicest sheep to the Prince of Peace
The little boy drummed his best for little Jesus
Even the reindeer rendered to St. Nicolas the services of his red nose
What about me? What have I to give?
To commemorate Godhead’s affirmation of human dignity
By the GIVING of the One for a broken and a lost,
Fully restoring true humanity back to humanity.
What about me? What can I give? How can I make the Mediator smile?
Oh, the strange mercy of God, that restores me to fullness and light
That I may give to the broken and the lost, and make the Heavens smile,
Reflecting in me, the true humanity – the Image of the Giver of Givers.