There is a little town in Ireland south of Dublin called Glendalough. It is often referred to as St. Kevin's Holy City because it is where the Celtic saint Kevin burrowed in and lived as a hermit in the 7th century. He lived with an extraordinary closeness to nature, including praying with his arms extended long enough for a bird to build a nest on them. The land is thin and holy, and it is apparent that God moved among those mountains and that river.
I went there on a pilgrimage, a journey in search of the divine. That is when I discovered the thin places of Ireland. As is customary on a pilgrimage, we were charged with taking a question to pray with and ponder as we traveled. This question from Psalm 137 was the one I took.
That was 30 years ago, and still today I wonder...how do I sing the Lord's song on alien soil?
Sound familiar? Where do you find yourself on alien soil? What is the Lord's song which you are charged to sing? and most importantly how do you sing it?
As we begin a new school year, many of us are preparing new classes and projects in our churches and synagogues. Maybe asking these questions of ourselves and others would be helpful for discerning what we are doing, where we are going, and how we are getting there?
How shall we sing the Lord's song upon an alien soil?