Kirkepiscatoid

Random and not so random musings from a 5th generation NE Missourian who became a 1st generation Episcopalian. Let the good times roll!


Time for another of those moments where Turner Classic Movies and the 1982 Hymnal collide with each other...

I was sitting here on a quiet Saturday morning, quietly having time to myself and paying bills with the movie "Mrs. Miniver" on the TV basically as background noise (I've seen it beaucoup times). Faintly in the background, I hear a familiar song as background music..."O God, Our Help in Ages Past!" I look up and Mrs. Miniver is looking up at the sky, and you hear the motors of British planes droning in the background just under the score playing the hymn.

There's no doubt this is one of the classic wartime movies of WWII, designed to meld the hearts of America to the plucky Brits in the fight against fascism. There's also no doubt that the story of how the Minivers' lives changed because of the war, the sacrifices they make, the losses they bear, and the mystical healing of a rose in a flower competition create a connection between bomb shelters and a hymn in the score.

Think about the first verse:

O God, our help in ages past,
our hope for years to come,
our shelter from the stormy blast,
and our eternal home:

It's no coincidence the next scene is in the home bomb shelter.

Of course, the church, and the vicar, in this film are incredibly and undoubtedly Anglican.

But it got me to thinking (as my connections between TCM and the 1982 Hymnal always do)...

What are the "stormy blasts" in my life? Oh, there are always several. They are all things that have the potential of "carpet bombing my world," and sometimes do cause damage, but I realize I always seem to rebuild. Sometimes the rebuilding has been painful and difficult, and felt like it could not happen. But somehow, something always arises from the ashes. Not always what I want, not always what I envisioned, but it always seems to be "more than enough."

A lot of my blogfriends lately have had incredibly stormy blasts. Some are still in the bomb shelter. Some are exposed to the elements, still. Some are just now emerging to the rubble. But there seems to be more of it. Is it that there is "more of it", or is it that as I grow in understanding, that I am aware of more of it and my eyes are more open to it? Maybe some of both.

But I think the rest of the verses of the hymn can say more than I can...so I invite you to listen to them and think prayerfully about all of our own stormy blasts and those of our neighbors of the blogosphere as you read them. Who comes to mind? What can you offer to them in your prayers? What does God tell you in the stillness behind the words and tune? I wish you grace and peace as you do so.

Under the shadow of thy throne,
thy saints have dwelt secure;
sufficient is thine arm alone,
and our defense is sure.

Before the hills in order stood,
or earth received her frame,
from everlasting thou art God,
to endless years the same.

A thousand ages in thy sight
are like an evening gone;
short as the watch that ends the night
before the rising sun.

Time, like an ever-rolling stream,
bears all its sons away;
they fly, forgotten, as a dream
dies at the opening day.

O God, our help in ages past,
our hope for years to come,
be thou our guide while troubles last,
and our eternal home!

5 comments:

Oh - this is good. REALLY good.

Thank you.

I looked back in my archives and this makes like the 6th movie that I blogged over a spiritual realization as a result of the movie. I keep thinking another of those "writing projects I never finish" is that I could make an adult study for churches about "faith and film". I bet I could link Scripture and TCM on movies that no one would ever consider!

I do love that movie. Nice post. I think the internet makes us more aware of the trials and tribulations all the extended families out there are enduring. Then also, there are the tempests in the teapots of some folk and I struggle to remember that for them they are still stormy blasts. PS - can u please explain to me the ordinary time poster? It kind of creeps me out...I just don't get it.

You'll have to go over to Bosco Peters' Liturgy page for the story. My recollection is that it is some kind of vine in New Zealand. I think he picked it b/c it's green and grows a lot. It's in his archives somewhere.

It looks like a bunch of bugs all curled up on the vine.

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Kirksville, Missouri, United States
I'm a longtime area resident of that quirky and wonderful place called Kirksville, MO and am wondering what God has hiding round the next corner in my life.

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