Saturday, December 24, 2022

Sermon: "When Words Aren't Enough: A Song of Christmas", Christmas Eve Lessons & Carols (December 12, 2022)


Over the last four weeks at Boone, we’ve been exploring how effectively music can express deep emotions when words alone aren’t sufficient. We’ve been paying particular attention to how Biblical figures respond to profound emotion with song. In Revelation, we heard those on the shores of God’s kindom singing a song of hope for what’s to come. In Luke’s gospel, we heard Simeon singing a song of peace that he was only able to find once he encountered Christ for himself. In Song of Solomon, we heard a couple singing a song of love that reminded us how powerful and enduring this emotion, which comes from God, can be. And in 1 Samuel, we heard Hannah singing a song of Joy that endures even in the midst of life’s challenges. Then, we “wrote” our own song by listing what makes us want to sing about hope, peace, love, and joy on music staff banners (which you can find – and continue to contribute to – on the wall towards the back of the sanctuary).

Sunday, December 18, 2022

Sermon: "When Words Aren't Enough: A Biblical Song of Joy", 1 Samuel 2:1-10/Luke 1:46-55 (December 18, 2022)


When we think about “songs of joy”, we usually think of examples like “Ode to Joy” or “Joy to the World” – up-tempo tunes in major keys with lyrics of celebration and triumph, projecting euphoria with every note, reeking of sunshine and flowers and rainbows. That’s the baseline assumption about what a good song of joy should be – music that makes you happy. Sometimes, we seek this kind of song out when we’re feeling especially low as an emotional “pick-me-up”. In our quest for joy, we try to drive out our grief, lament, or anxiety by inundating it with as much audible happiness as we can stand.

Sunday, December 11, 2022

Sermon: “When Words Aren’t Enough: A Biblical Song of Love”, Selections from Song of Solomon (December 11, 2022)


We couldn’t have a sermon series about biblical songs without an excerpt from the Song of Solomon, and what better week to explore it than the week of Advent that we focus on love? This book (also known as “Song of Songs”) describes a love so powerful that prose can’t adequately express its sentiments – music is required. It’s best known for its detailed, borderline scandalous, depictions of physical love between humans. It doesn’t shy away from specifics (which is part of the reason we’re reading “selections” in worship today). But that’s kind of the point: polite, chivalrous love isn’t an especially accurate representation of love’s true potential and power, is it? You couldn’t convincingly make the assertion that “love is as strong as death” at the conclusion of a poem written in the style of an Arthurian legend or a Jane Austin novel. So, instead of trying to censor or avoid this book (as many have done throughout its history), it’s better for us to accept it for what it is and try to discover what we can learn from it.

Sunday, December 4, 2022

Sermon: “When Words Aren’t Enough: A Biblical Song of Peace”, Luke 2:25-32 (December 4, 2022)


As Idahoans, we all appreciate the beauty and grandeur of nature. Even someone like me, who doesn’t generally leave the house except under extreme duress, can’t help but being moved by a drive through the mountains or a beautiful sunset or the first snow in the foothills. But have you ever tried to take a picture of it? No matter what angle you take it from, no matter what the lighting is like, no matter how you compose the image, the photo never winds up doing justice to your experience of the view. There’s somehow something fundamentally different about KNOWING what something looks like and EXPERIENCING it for yourself. Otherwise, people would have stopped traveling to see the Grand Canyon or the Great Pyramids after the invention of photography. Even when we try to supplement a photo by describing the view’s personal effect on us, we usually wind up resignedly admitting, “I guess you just had to be there.” No matter how detailed a picture your words paint, it can never match the lived experience.