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Lenten Devotions: "Islands"

This Lenten season, Bread Blog will be running a series of devotions written by Pastor Ron Glusenkamp, senior pastor at Bethany Lutheran Church in Cherry Hills Village, Colo. The reflections are based, in part, on the music of Peter Mayer, accomplished vocalist, guitarist, and songwriter. The theme for this year's series is "Mighty This Love," named for one of Mayer's compositions (Listen to a special welcome message from Mayer).

This post is reprinted, with permission, from Glusenkamp's site, h20 devos. Audio podcast versions of the daily devotionals are also available.

'Atoll Island' photo (c) 2008, Christina Spicuzza - license: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/

March 31, 2014

"So they gathered up the driftwood made it watertight
And drifted rudderless to the horizon
I'm confused and I'm scared he said
and we got no land in sight
But I've got you dear to keep my eyes on...
We're on our way to the last island
Don't look back don't think twice
Oh we're on our way to the last island
Something to call our own won't that be nice
I'm on my way to the last island
Gonna find my piece of paradise
Oh I'm on my way to the last island
Something to call my own
won't that be nice."

"The Last Island," by Peter Mayer and Roger Guth

Today is the day the church celebrates the life of priest and poet John Donne. Perhaps his most popular words are about the inter-connectedness of all people: his best-known phrase, "No man is an island," gives testimony to the fact that we are all related to one another.

"No man is an island, entire of itself; every man is a piece of the continent, a part of the main. If a clod be washed away by the sea, Europe is the less. As well as if a promontory were. As well as if a manor of thy friend's or of thine own were: any man's death diminishes me, because I am involved in mankind, and therefore never send to know for whom the bells tolls; it tolls for thee." John Donne wrote in "Meditation XVII."

I think Peter's song "The Last Island" is not something that is prescriptive—in other words, something that we should attempt to follow or emulate. Rather, it is "descriptive" of the desire to have one's own island, "a piece of paradise."

So, today we have the opportunity to contrast community versus isolation. I am most grateful for organizations that foster community as opposed to the tide of "having my way."

Blessings to you today as you celebrate being connected and related to one another.


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