For years I’ve tried to consider the incarnational meaning to this passage from the book “Night” by Elie Wiesel. Last night I attempted writing a similar thought in the form of a song. Even if you don’t want to hear the song, I’d encourage you to read this passage and as we head toward Sunday reflect on the question Wiesel asks along with all of mankind, “Where Is God?” It’s a great sacramental question I think.
“One day when we came back from work, we saw three gallows rearing up in the assembly place, three black crows. Roll call. SS all around us, machine guns trained: the traditional ceremony. Three victims in chains— and one of them, the little servant, the sad-eyed angel.
The SS seemed more preoccupied, more disturbed than usual. To hang a young boy in front of thousands of spectators was no light matter. The head of the camp read the verdict. All eyes were on the child. He was lividly pale, almost calm, biting his lips. The gallows threw its shadow over him.
This time the Lagerkapo refused to act as executioner. Three SS replaced him.
The three victims mounted together onto the chairs.
The three necks were placed at the same moment within the nooses.
“Long live liberty!” cried the two adults.
But the child was silent.
“Where is God? Where is He?” someone behind me asked.
At a sign from the head of the camp, the three chairs tipped over.
Total silence throughout the camp. On the horizon, the sun was setting.
“Bare your heads!” yelled the head of the camp. His voice was raucous. We were weeping.
“Cover your heads!”
Then the march past began. The two adults were no longer alive. Their tongues hung swollen, blue-tinged. But the third rope was still moving; being so light, the child was still alive…
For more than half an hour he stayed there, struggling between life and death, dying in slow agony under our eyes. And we had to look him full in the face. He was still alive when I passed in front of him. His tongue was red, his eyes were not yet glazed.
Behind me, I heard the same man asking:
“Where is God now?”
And I heard a voice within me answer him:
“Where is He? Here He is—He is hanging here on this gallows…”
[Excerpt from NIGHT by Elie Wiesel]
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Since 2010, KHK (Kids Helping Kids) has performed in over 80 events! They were blessed to open for such well known Christian artists and some Dove award recipients such as The Newsboys, FFH, Jason Gray, John G. Elliott, Jo Vogels, flyfaith, and yours truly, Rick Lee James. God has big plans for these kids and it was my privilege to have them, as well as their founders John and Karen Flaugher, on the Voices In My Head Podcast This week. KHK’s new record, Keep Him King, is available everywhere online including CDBABY.
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Here is a free lead sheet and music video of my new arrangement of the classic Easter Hymn, He Lives. Christ the Lord is Risen, He is Risen indeed.
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Episode #138: Worship Leader Talk
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This week on Voices In My Head Rick talks about the Christian Calendar and why Advent is the best time for Christians to say Happy New Year. This Podcast also features Advent Hymn (Watching, Waiting, Longing). Free Sheet music for this song available below and at www.RickLeeJames.com/FreeSheetMusic and you can watch the YouTube video below.