A Cure for Thirst

It’s back!  The infamous DC summer heat is here for its annual visit.  Public service announcements remind us to drink plenty of water, but our bodies usually give us all the reminders we need.  In one of our psalms from this week (Psalm 63), we hear a cry from the psalmist: 

O God, you are my God, I seek you, my soul thirsts for you; my flesh faints for you, as in a dry and weary land where there is no water.

The church needs its own public service announcement to remind us to nourish both body and soul.  We have an inner need for meaning, for community, and for God.  We thirst for these things.  We faint without them.  Jesus said, “Those who believe in me will never be thirsty again.”  May we be reminded of the need to care for our inner lives, trust in God, and find rest for our souls in Christ Jesus.

So here’s my PSA for you: Stay cool. Drink water. And go to church.  



This Independence Day

Last Sunday, after attending an organ concert in Southeast, DC, the friend I was walking with pointed to an unassuming grey house on G Street. “That was where John Philip Sousa was born,” he said. It makes sense that someone whose music is so indelibly etched in the national identity of America, would be born in its capital city. He led “The President’s Own” under five presidents from Rutherford B. Hayes to Benjamin Harrison. Then organized his own group “The Sousa Band,” and toured around the world, performing over 15 thousand concerts.

This week, it’s highly likely you’ve heard one of his many marches, probably “The Stars and Stripes Forever,” which Congress named as the national march of the United States. It is music that somehow evokes the positive, welcoming enthusiasm that is the best part of the American dream. Music can speak through time in a way that a thousand political stump speeches never can. Playing it requires cooperation, not debate, and that every player set aside their differences and play together, at the same tempo, on the same beats, hitting their notes, rather than making promises they don’t keep. It’s a metaphor for the best way to live, in our homes, our communities, our churches and in our world.