This is the Day the Lord Has Made

I listen over and over again, to the anthem, "This is the Day the Lord Has Made," by John Rutter, especially composed for the Royal Wedding of Prince William to Kate Middleton.

And even though, those in attendance at the wedding may have thought, that the day the Lord made was for this union - I think to myself - that truly - every day is a day the Lord has made...

I tell this to my students - it is my theme. This IS the day the Lord has made, because every day is a miracle. Every day comes bearing gifts and gives us the opportunity to start anew, and release what does not serve us mentally and spiritually. This becomes especially relevant as we move through deep twists and revolved poses of every kind. This is a physically and spiritually cleansing practice and it is so appropriate to do it as we move more deeply into the heart of spring...

We do our work to a background of the choral music by John Rutter. As my students begin to generate more heat in their bodies, I ask them to visualize a furnace in their hearts where they transmute what they wish to let go of. I ask them to toss into that furnace all they want to release and what no longer serves them in any capacity...

Yes, this is the day...There is no other!

I tell my students, that when I studied scripture in graduate school, one of my professors reminded us - that if we lost both the Hebrew and Christian scriptures and we only had the Book of the Psalms - we would possess the entirety of the essence of the scriptures and its teachings in that one book.

"This is the day the Lord has made" - is a verse from Psalm 118, and the psalms have always spoken to me and moved me deeply. In my early days as a classical guitarist and liturgical musician, I sought to set all the psalms to music. I only made it part way, and have unfortunately, lost the music. Still, some memory of it must surely reside in my heart...

I watch my students, inspired by the centering, the music, the season, and one another - unfold beautifully - and open more deeply in some of the more challenging poses than they ever had before.

The week begins anew, after a weekend filled with many blessings for me. As I noted yesterday, on Saturday evening, I attended a play where a dear friend's daughter had the lead in the Wizard of OZ. As I wrote my friend about my joy and delight in watching her child, I quoted a memorable line from the play, and added my own insights, which I also shared in class:

"'A heart is not judged by how much you love,
but how you are loved by others.'
I say - in the eyes of God -
how we Love - IS all that matters.
How much we Love is what God sees."

On a day when many are rejoicing in the capture and death of an elusive criminal, I choose instead, to remember that we are all children of God. I choose to focus on what we have in common, instead of what divides us. I think of another song commissioned for the Royal Wedding - "Ubi Caritas" - and it's message: "Where charity and love prevail, there God is ever found."

Yes - I choose - to the best of my ability - to exercise charity and love. For truly it is there that I encounter the presence of God - often in the places and experiences I least expect.

A week ago, just before Easter, as I was entering a department store, a woman I do not know, passed me by and met my eyes and smiled, and then wished me a Happy Easter. She had no way of knowing whether I celebrated Easter or not, or whether I was observant or not. It did not matter. In that moment, we were both one. In that moment, nothing separated us - because that day - was a day the Lord had made.

Let us remember that this day is the day the Lord has made. It is no less special than a day made for royal weddings, or our own...

This is the Day the Lord Has Made
(John Rutter)

This is the day, the day which the Lord has made
We will rejoice and be glad in it
This is the day, the day which the Lord has made
We will rejoice and be glad in it
This is the day

O praise the Lord of Heaven
Praise him in the highest,
Praise him all ye angels of his
Praise him all ye souls
Praise him sun and moon
Praise him all ye stars of light
Let them praise the name of the Lord

For he shall give his angels charge over thee
To keep thee in all thy ways
The Lord is my keeper
The Lord is my defense upon my right hand
So that the sun shall not hurt thee by day
Neither the moon by night

The Lord shall preserve thee from all evil
Yea, it is even he that shall keep thy soul
The Lord shall preserve thy going out and thy coming in
From this I know
From this I know forever more

He shall defend thee
He shall defend thee under his wings...
Be strong
And he shall comfort thine heart
Shall comfort thine heart
And who shall I trust?
I trust in the Lord,
Whose power I trust in the Lord.
In the Lord


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