Jesus, Fully Human, Fully God.

JESUS IS HUMAN. JESUS IS GOD.

(edited for theological accuracy!)

It was important for me to learn that Jesus was fully human in every way, even though he is also the Son of God.  

Jesus hungered. He grew weary after a long dusty walk or a difficult day.  He prayed, yes he talked to God and it was necessary to do so. He required food and water, even human love.  He is fully human. 

Jesus had people, his people, his community – a mother who loved, a step-father who provided, half siblings all with their messy lives and needs, friends who gave to him and took from him. He had friends who got sick and died.  

He wept salty tears. He thirsted as he hung there, dying slowly and painfully. 

If he was not fully human his dying would be meaningless. If he is not the Son of God his dying would be meaningless.  It is in the joining, of being fully human and fully God, that his sacrifice is fully known to us.

The day I was able to absorb the idea that this Jesus died for me, my heart and my life were forever changed. First to fathom it, was just the just beginning.  But then to accept the notion that Christ would have died on that gruesome, utterly painful cross for me – even if were I the only sinner needing his sacrifice – yes, only me. Still he would have died. 

Owning that concept fully and completely, that Christ died for me, changed me into a different person. The trajectory of my life altered, its purpose settled into a different rhythm as I was able to understand, though I will never know fully, this sacrifice. 

THE WOUNDS OF MOTHERHOOD

As I worked on this piece “the weeping women of Jerusalem” I thought about how often I weep as a mother.  It is often because of motherhood — the burden and the responsibility to care for, guide and protect my children, my deep love for them and even more so my strong desire that they would come to know the Jesus that I know.  My heart breaks from it, sometimes.

As Jesus met the women of Jerusalem, who wept for him, according to Luke 23:27-31, it is said:

There followed him a great multitude of the people, and of women who bewailed and lamented him. But Jesus turning to them said, “Daughters of Jerusalem, do not weep for me, but weep for yourselves and for your children. For behold, the days are coming when they will say, ‘Blessed are the barren, and the wombs that never bore, and the breasts that never gave suck!’ Then they will begin to say to the mountains, ‘Fall on us’; and to the hills, ‘Cover us.’ For if they do this when the wood is green, what will happen when it is dry?”

I know the wounds of motherhood, the weeping for my children.  Jesus meets us there — in his sacrifice.  And he will meet our children too, though we must trust him to do so and allow him wipe our tears.

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Stations of the Cross is a visual art and music experience in Madison, Wisconsin, opening March 30, 2012, with exhibit hours during Holy Week from March 30 through Good Friday on April 6. See our website for details on the art and music exhibit experience, artists, blog posts, and exhibit schedule. RSVP on Facebook.

Kitty Versus Wolf

Kitty Versus Wolf

I have beautiful friend, she
sings like an angel. And
when she sings people’s hearts
heal.

Please take a listen.

And 10% of all CD sales will go to Poverty Stops Here, an organization that is confronting extreme poverty through investments in clean water, sanitation, and economic opportunities in Nigeria.

And the ever talented Tom Hanson produced the music.

gratitude

Though I haven’t read her book One Thousand Gifts, I do read Ann Voskamp’s blog.   She so poignantly questions our incapacity to be amazed and grateful.

“Why do I spend so much time struggling to see it?  Do I need to see the world, visit the exquisite, before I face eternity? Or isn’t it here? Can’t I find it here? Isn’t it here? The wonder? Why do I spend so much of my living hours struggling to see it?”


I so relate to that sentiment.  For me it is a struggle to be positive and grateful; to see the wonder in my life here and now.  And so much that I have is wondrous!

Last week in a group we attend we were asked to express some things that we are grateful for and I was absolutely mute.

I felt so ashamed of myself, but I just couldn’t come up with anything.  I was stuck in a limbo.   I have many blessings and things to feel thankful for but

I
just
sat there.

I was

unable (or unwilling) to express them.  Unwilling to open my mouth.  It all seemed too risky somehow.

I felt a fragile sense that if I opened up my mouth I have no idea what might happen.  What if it wasn’t words of gratitude that came out?

I don’t know about you but sometimes I am just stuck in my head — too heart and head heavy
to let go and allow myself the space —

to b r e a t h e.  Deeply.  (Do it right now.  In and out.  It feels incredible.)

Why is it so difficult to allow my pulse to slow down and feel

(even just a little)

grateful.

“God turns you from one feeling to another and teaches you by means of opposites, so that you will have two wings to fly – not one.”  — Rumi

Don’t you think that is true?  From hatred to love.  From dissatisfaction to peace.  From fear or anxiety to hope and trust.

I want to fly!   Some days, I do.

b r e a t h e.  Deeply.  (Do it right now.  In and out.  It feels incredible.)

in this, and the next life (a poem)

the church

Unholy.

Like unrequited first love,

my heart discovers your incantations and magic

last night.  It seems this story has been written

a thousand times.  A girl

watches, listens, dreams.

She is silent, unmoved at the start and almost determined

not to feel.  And then she is profoundly shaken, breathless.

Listening as if never having heard music

before. You cast a spell.   A choir of guitars,

exquisite.  Cutting

deep.  Your sweaty hope.  Dreams vividly etched in the lines

in your face.  You may see

ancient sorrows but she sees only

sweetness and she falls

for you, for your voodoo songs.  You are

the weary traveller casting spells on the unwary girl.

You are

ahead of me

on the path to this, and the next life.   You

have my heart

now, beating erratically in your songs.  Carry it well.

April 15, 2010, Melody Harrison Hanson

I went because they are one of Tom’s  all time favorite bands, which is saying a lot for him.  He listens to a lot of music.   Last night we heard The Church at the Majestic in Madison, Wisconsin.  Bravo.  It was up there in terms of best live concert experiences I have had. It isn’t often that one discovers a band, hearing them for the first time live.  It was kind of earth shattering.  A bit like falling in love: I wasn’t looking for it, didn’t expect it, but can’t help but embrace it.

Hope for Haiti

I thoroughly enjoyed watching a Hope For Haiti Now fundraiser the other night.  This collaboration between Jay-Z, Rihanna, and Bono jumped out at me.  I loved it because it was innovative, interesting and original.  Am I being redundant?  I loved it.

Taylor Swift was also incredible.

Just don’t want to forget Haiti.  I heard a report on NPR today that some people STILL have only received water as “aid.”  I do not want to criticize people on the ground doing good work.

Tom’s Music on Primetime CBS show

tomsmusic

My lovely husband.  I am so proud of him.  Although his ‘day job’ is wonderful and he’s an amazing leader of his organization, I know that his passion is his music which does in his off hours. Last year he completed his 2nd album, ironically titled Everything Takes Forever, a five year project?! It’s a beautiful CD.

He just received word that one of his songs—“Even So” from his 2nd CD Everything Takes Forever will be used on  the CBS prime time show, Ghost Whisperer, tonight Friday (2/13/09, 8:00 PM ET; 7:00 PM CT) If you’d like, check it out.

Also, his website is:

www.myspace.com/tomhansonmusic in case you want to stop by to sample.

Peace to all,  Melody

Music Makes Kids Smart

The policies of George W. have forced many cuts to local school budgets over the last eight years.

One cut  we have felt is that 4th graders at our elementary school can no longer learn a string instrument until 5th and they may cut the Strings Program all together.

Emma is in fifth. Since third grade she’s taken the standardized tests required by George W, which tell us what we already knew, she’s extremely intelligent.

Someone should tell old Dubya, that study after study has shown that learning music can make kids smarter.

When your child learns to play a musical instrument, not only does he learn how to make tunes, but he also enhances other capabilities of his brain as well:

* A 10 year study involving 25,000 students show that music-making improves test scores in standardized tests, as well as in reading proficiency exams (Source: James Catterall, UCLA, 1997).
* High school music students score higher on the math and verbal portion of SAT, compared to their peers (Profile of SAT and Achievement Test Takers, The College Board, compiled by Music Educators Conference, 2001).
* The IQ’s of young students who had nine months of weekly training in piano or voice rose nearly three points more than their untrained peers (Study by E. Glenn Schellenberg, of the University of Toronto at Mississauga, 2004.)
* Piano students can understand mathematical and scientific concepts more readily. Children who received piano training performed 34 percent higher on tests measuring proportional reasoning – ratios, fractions, proportions, and thinking in space and time (Neurological Research, 1997).
* Pattern recognition and mental representation scores improved significantly in students who were given a 3-year piano instruction (Dr. Eugenia Costa-Giomi study presented at the meeting of the Music Educators National Conference, Phoenix, AZ, 1998).
* Music students received more academic honors and awards than non-music students. These music students also have more A and B grades compared to non-music students (National Educational Longitudinal Study of 1988 First Follow-Up, U.S. Department of Education).
* More music majors who applied for medical school were admitted compared to those in other majors including English, biology, chemistry and math. (“The Comparative Academic Abilites of Students in Education and in Other Areas of a Multi-focus University,” Peter H. Wood, ERIC Document No. ED327480; “The Case for Music in Schools”, Phi Delta Kappan, 1994)

Other research also linked music making with increased language discrimination and development, improved school grades, and better-adjusted social behavior.  Why does this happen? What is at work here?  and why is George Dubya making decisions that force cutting music programs around the country?

Why Dubya, why???