Don’t miss this moment
Like every other building on campus, the Chapel of the Resurrection and the activities it hosts have undergone significant reworking in order to comply with best practices to support the health and safety of the Valparaiso University community. Some of these changes have brought real losses: only four people can sing at one time so there’s no congregational singing, wind instruments can’t be played in the Chapel and currently, attendance at any worship services is capped at 100. You can read a description of all of the steps we’ve taken here. These changes would be painful except that they are what must be done if we are to serve in love.
And they are not without their unforeseen blessings. I write to encourage you to take advantage of this moment.
First, like lots of other places, the seating in the Chapel has been reordered. All of the chairs face east, toward the monumental Munderloh windows of magnificent stained glass, in rows that are separated from one another by a distance of six feet. Further, we are asking that you not sit closer than three chairs away from each other, unless you’re already part of the same friend or family unit. The result is that when you arrive for Morning Prayer at 9:50 on any Monday through Thursday (Friday Morning Prayer is outdoors), you sit by yourself at a distance that makes chatting with one’s neighbors difficult. (I find that the face masks make it nearly impossible.)
Then, because of the restrictions on singing, the orders of service that the Morning Prayer staff of musicians and writers are presenting place us in an atypically passive posture. Aside from a few spoken responses at the beginning and the end, there’s not much to do except be there and take it all in — the music, the readings, the prayers. We’re not even standing up and sitting down much!
If your spirituality is most often expressed by talking and singing, it’s a bit of a jolt at first.
And then, it’s beautiful.
Thursdays are my favorite. Thursday Morning Prayer was always quiet. Now there are long moments of silence. There we are, in a warm room with quiet all around and nothing to do but gaze at the light coming through the windows.
We’re all praying for a return to a more normal time when singing isn’t considered dangerous. When we do, I, for one, am hoping that we’ll not completely lose hold of the quiet simplicity that is Morning Prayer right now.
In the meantime, we’ve got this moment where for 20 minutes, you can be in a beautiful room where nothing is expected of you but your silence. I encourage you not to miss it.
Sept. 2, 2020
Photo credit: Daniel Asselstine
- Archives of Devotional Writings from our Pastoral Staff
- “Some Lent!”
- (Your vocation here) of people
- A Point of Privilege
- A season of anticipation
- Advent = Hope
- All will be well
- Are we willing to cross the road for one another?
- Better Together
- Can we learn to be happy?
- Carrying the COVID Cross
- Come and See
- Did Jesus really suffer?
- Doing without in a life of plenty
- Don’t miss this moment
- Exiles with Vision
- Fear not!
- Feeling at Home
- Finding Purpose in the Journey
- Finding Words for Times Like These
- Forgiving others – and ourselves
- Getting ahead with Jesus
- Getting down on Jesus’ level
- Have yourself a merry little Christmas — somehow
- Holy Week and Taking Out the Trash
- Holy Week: The aid station late in the semester
- Hopes & Dreams vs Life in the Wilderness
- How glad we’ll be if it’s so
- I almost slipped
- In a time of uncertainty, these things are certain
- In praise of plans B … C … D …
- In Praise of Skeptical Disciples
- In the midst of grief, God will bring life
- Is there such a thing as being too forgiving?
- It’s a Three Day Weekend!
- It’s In the Bag
- It’s What’s Happening
- Killing off our future selves
- Lessons in fire building
- Let us work for real wellness in our communities
- Life Is a Highway
- Lilies and leaves and whatever else is beautiful
- Living in the Present
- O Lord, you know I hate buttermilk
- Of Fear and Failure
- On Christian Unity: When we’re not one big happy church
- On the Bucket List
- Pray and Let God Worry
- Preparing for the world to be turned rightside up
- Recovering from an Epic Fail
- Reformation calls for examination
- Remembering among the forgetful
- Seeing beauty in brokenness
- Signs of Love
- Starting Small
- Still in the storm
- Taking a Break from the Relentless
- Talking ourselves into it
- Thankfulness leads to joyfulness
- The Art of Holy Week
- The Funny Business of Forgiveness
- The Greatest of These is Love
- The Magi: Exemplars of Faith and Learning
- The Power of Small Conversations
- The Power of Taking a Sabbath
- The Spiritual Gift of Hindsight
- This can’t be done alone
- To be known
- You will be in our prayers this summer of 2020
- Ventures of which we cannot see the ending
- We had hoped
- What do you do with your anger?
- What is your base reality?
- What to do after you find your voice
- What to do on the day after
- What we know and what we don’t know
- When bad things happen
- When joy and sadness live together
- When the promise of resurrection is hard to believe
- When you offer up your broken cup
- Where God will be found
- Where is the good shepherd carrying you?
- Wilderness Journeys
- Year-end time management: Keeping the main thing the main thing
- Your Valpo roots will help you grow into your future