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Lenten Devotions: "Happy"

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.

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


'new harmony indiana' photo (c) 2006, christina rutz - license: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/

"We got our maps our clues, police and policy
Still we cannot trace the spirit's nest
We hunt for miles and all the while it paints the scenery
Scatters and whirls an arabesque
Hey-ey Hey-ey this mercy moves
God is loose hey-ey God is loose in the world
Hey ey hey ey the universe is singing
Loose hey hey God is loose in the world
We better lock him up the crazy man
He's causing trouble, brewing storms
Traded fashion for compassion
The revolution fought with kindness not a sword"
—Lyrics from "Loose in the World," by Peter Mayer

Dr. Walter Brueggemann, in his book "Spirituality of the Psalms," writes about psalms that are of "orientation, dis-orientation and new orientation." Psalm 8 is a psalm of orientation. It's a creation hymn. Psalm 22 (which Jesus quotes on the cross) is a psalm of dis-orientation: "My God, My God, why have you forsaken me?" And Psalm 23 and Psalm 46 are of a new orientation.

I'd like to humbly submit another song of new orientation, and that would be "Happy" by Pharrell Williams. This is a wonderful psalm which moves one out of sadness and pain into joy and comfort. You cannot listen to this without tapping your toes and getting your mojo moving.

I especially like the line,"Clap along if you feel like a room without a roof/Because I'm happy."

In New Harmony, Indiana, there is a chapel without a roof (pictured above).  What this reminds me of is Peter's line, "God is loose in the world." As N.F.S Grundtvig reminds us in "Built on a Rock":

"Surely, in temples made with hands
God the Most High is not dwelling-
high in the heav'ns his temple stands,
all earthly temples excelling.
Yet he who dwells in heav'n above
deigns to abide with us in love,
making our bodies his temple."

Text: Nicolai F. S. Grundtvig, 1783-1872; tr. Carl Doving, 1867-1937, adapt.
Text © 1958 Service Book and Hymnal, admin. Augsburg Fortress.

So today, listen to this wonderful psalm and be happy!

"It might seem crazy what I'm about to say
Sunshine she's here, you can take a break
I'm a hot air balloon that could go to space
With the air, like I don't care baby by the way 

Because I'm happy
Clap along if you feel like a room without a roof
Because I'm happy
Clap along if you feel like happiness is the truth
Because I'm happy
Clap along if you know what happiness is to you
Because I'm happy
Clap along if you feel like that's what you wanna do."


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