Love is a permanent creation (over above chaos) (Zechariah 1,1-17) / Book of Common Prayer lectionary, Morning Prayer 12th Week after Trinity Sunday/
Zechariah’s vision is startling. There is beauty in it combined with the feeling of unease. This dream-revelation occurred under the suffocating reign of king Darius. World powers cast their shadow on the story of the Jewish people. They are suspended between a captivity and an unfulfilled return.
‘I saw by night, and behold a man riding upon a red horse, and he stood among the myrtle trees that were in the bottom; and behind him were there red horses, speckled, and white. Then said I, O my lord, what are these? And the angel that talked with me said unto me, I will shew thee what these be. And the man that stood among the myrtle trees answered and said, These are they whom the Lord hath sent to walk to and fro through the earth. And they answered the angel of the Lord that stood among the myrtle trees, and said, We have walked to and fro through the earth, and behold, all the earth sitteth still, and is at rest.’
Then follows the revelation of God’s intention to rebuild the Temple. ‘I am returned to Jerusalem with mercies: my house shall be built in it, saith the Lord of hosts, and a line shall be stretched forth upon Jerusalem.’
History is in fermentation. The images a culture sees amidst enormous changes are feverish, uncanny images, full of uncertainty even anxiety. This age of the prophet, just like that of ours, cries for a Temple. We need a ‘Temple’ through which culture can attain its long longed-for stability. The function of the temple is to accommodate our anxieties, disturbing images and uncontrollable ‘death drives’ (Freud). All what is unprocessed, what is chaotic can be transformed into worship. No wonder that the returning priests from the captivity sing, and play their musical instruments.
When we pray and sing in our churches, our songs reflect this underlying volcano of history. Church music, we should remember, always connects the two worlds: eruptive chaos and our law and reason governed life, which prevents the return of our chaotic and violent past.
Let us have a look at our world with its growing tensions. We must return to God. We must return the chaotic forces of our world to the Lord’s transforming presence. Love is a permanent creation.
These are verbal Icons, expressions of how the world is seen from Saint Augustine's..