Two responses

Following the slaying of President John F. Kennedy, Jr., the composer/conductor Leonard Bernstein said this:

This will be our reply to violence:
to make music more intensely,
more beautifully,
more devotedly than ever before.

And in the Christian Chronicle of January 2015, Brian Owens of the (predominantly black) Ferguson Heights MO Church of Christ is said to feel “inclined to protest. ”  But his protest won’t involve “waving a ‘hands up, don’t shoot’ sign, staging a ‘die-in’ or chanting ‘I can’t breathe’ during a march.”  Owens told fellow members of the predominantly black Ferguson Heights Church of Christ,

Worship is our protest. . . .  Our response is worship because it is through our worship that people see the glory of God.

The notions expressed by these two men — ideologically and chronically distant from one another — seem to be of the same ilk, don’t they?











Next:  Two (more) historical figures

7 thoughts on “Two responses

  1. godschildrenorg 01/16/2015 / 2:01 pm

    Their comments show a wisdom that is lacking in this world of turmoil. When I think of the anger I sometimes feel about injustice around the globe, I am humbled by their comments. We can’t change the world, but we can bring His Light and Love wherever we are every day. ~~ Anne in Transylvania


    • Brian Casey 01/16/2015 / 7:14 pm

      Yes — “you in your small corner, and I in mine,” as an old children’s song says. (Some of those children’s songs are better than the adult songs!) If I can respond even with nonviolent words, in my sphere, and if I can point to something greater, relinquishing concerns over trivialities, I will have lived better and will have illuminated an area, methinks.


  2. godschildrenorg 01/16/2015 / 2:06 pm

    Reblogged this on God’s Children Blog and commented:
    These words are timely, can help us find peace. Guest Post by Brian Casey, PhD, (our “nephew” by his choice. He offered. We accepted.) God is good! ~~ Anne Boyd, St. George, Transylvania, RO


  3. Susan Peterson 01/16/2015 / 4:47 pm

    I seems to me, as a sudden thought (i.e., not very thought-out), that protests which involve pointing at other people or pointing at problems are much less likely to result in real change than does pointing at larger and more true things. This is what worship does.


    • Brian Casey 01/16/2015 / 7:01 pm

      Susan, just as “polished” is not always a good goal for a sermon or public teaching, maybe “not very thought-out” is better than over-thought. “Pointing at larger and truer things.” Yes. Yes.


  4. Eileen Slifer 01/05/2022 / 6:40 am

    So much here to unpack… Hard to believe this event was 5 years ago. I’m guessing it was around that time I first heard someone else use the term “unpack” in some other context I’m sure.

    I’ve latched on to the term at times. It seems to be a good term of acknowledging “so much ”

    What if we were to imagine a number of people with a number of perspectives and suitcases meeting together and unpacking all their contents into a big pile, together, to sort it all out?

    I think there’s a lot of good stuff here you and others wrote… from the worship suitcase… and I can imagine it continuing to be unpacked alongside of other suitcases as well!

    This mental image in my mind hopefully conveys the potential complication and difficulties of all these things being unpacked with others. I like to remember that other Christian siblings have their suitcases as well. Really love some of the interviews on the Tokens Show, Lee Camp is such a good listener and brings so much to the table of talk

    Oops looks like I’m switching metaphors, I better stick to one!

    I really love this quotation you mentioned in your expression above:

    “This will be our reply to violence:
    to make music more intensely,
    more beautifully,
    more devotedly than ever before”

    That is quite beautiful and I think those with suitcases of beauty to unpack can stand open-eared with deep value and respect alongside those who are opening suitcases full of the deepest pain, ugliness and distresses with both anger and peace, laying them into the pile…

    I suppose I’d like to choose a verse to go with this and the one coming into my mind seems triggered by the words “reason together.” Surely ripped from some other context… I think it is in Isaiah not sure and won’t look it up…

    “Come let us reason together says the Lord, though your sins be as scarlet they shall be whiter than snow.”

    Liked by 1 person

    • Eileen Slifer 01/05/2022 / 6:58 am

      I’m sorry to belabor my comments here into a third but I thank you for your writing which prompted these thoughts as I start my day. I actually looked up that scripture and read the entire passage where it comes from, Isaiah chapter 1.

      I did go to the Tokens Show site since I’ve not been notified by email of any new episodes recently and was thinking of it. Actually the very last episode I listened to seems to fit beautifully into this idea of both music and unpacking various suitcases, and perhaps into Isaiah 1.

      This was a good interview with some voices in song expressing the cares of many widows and fatherless siblings in Christ…

      Liked by 1 person

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