All Shadows Parting – An Elegy
If you enjoy classical music, you have most likely heard a requiem, a piece of music written in memory of someone who passed away. In the 17th and 18th centuries, most composers wrote a requiem—haunting, stirring pieces, designed to move the emotions, and sung in Latin.
In poetry, an elegy reflects upon someone who is no longer with us, perhaps most beautifully expressed by English poet Thomas Gray.
These are facts, and, if you are still reading by this point, it does sound a bit dull and . . . well . . . pointless. If classical music is not to your taste and 18th century poetry not a thrill, I’ve told you two things hardly worth remembering.
Yet spring is here, almost nearing summer, and thoughts of winter fade away—an elegy to snow and cold winds blowing.
In April, many celebrated Christ’s resurrection from the dead, the triumph of God over sin, and death! We turned our faces toward the light and rejoiced! The dreadful penalty of sin is paid and we are free in Him for all eternity. Past wrongs and sin cannot destroy the Father’s love for us or His plan; we have no need for an elegy.
The former things are passing away—we look at the world differently than we did at two or at twelve; dear student, you are growing up, and even your parents are learning and changing! Previous opinions have blown away like dandelions—an elegy and a beginning.
Beginnings and endings: both commemorated in their own ways as they have been since time began. You celebrate birthdays every year, marking the passage from one year to a new one.
God Himself made division between the two covenants He made with humankind, the Old and the New Testament, as we call them today. Christ fulfilled the promises and prophesies made to Israel, offering salvation to Jew and Gentile, to the entire world! The old covenant was not looked down upon by God—He kept His word and gave us Christ.
The Pharisees and Scribes, who clung to tradition, wanted their world left the same because grace meant nothing to them. Is not change an expression of grace? The opportunity to grow and embrace truth, forever changed by it?
Their anger and hatred of Jesus was their elegy, a violent mourning of their customs and traditions.
Remember Tevye from the musical Fiddler on the Roof and his anthem “tradition!”? Traditions, whether of belief or culture, are not wrong in and of themselves unless they have no basis in truth any more. Tevye’s singing and shouting tradition was a battle-cry against change.
Now change is not always good or throwing off “old” ways simply because we are young and imagine ourselves more “enlightened.”
Elisabeth Elliot wrote, “By recognizing that time has two dimensions—it brings things to an end and it gives us new beginnings. Christ is the Alpha and Omega, the beginning and end, and we bring to him all of our beginnings and endings, all the hope and sadness that they cause us, all of the work done and the pleasures enjoyed as well as all our plans for work to be done and pleasures to be enjoyed.” 1
Mrs. Elliot surely experienced beginnings and endings! She is now rejoicing in glory, seeing all of those twists and turns made straight and plain before her eyes.
The daily chores of washing dishes, teaching school, and taking care of a household may seem ordinary, but they are great gifts. Every sunrise we see, from a kitchen window or from a city apartment, and every sunset brings us closer to what God has in store for us, if we would only see!
Shadows of disappointments, large or small, will fade away when we let them go and journey on!
Unlike Mozart and Brahms, we don’t need a requiem. 🙂
Rachel Ann Rogish is a freelance writer, excited to give back to quality home education and promoting a creative-ministry life-style. When she is isn’t writing, you can find her learning the domestic arts, reading a good book, exploring nature, and reporting for the Cape May County Herald Newspaper. https://seagypsyrachelann417.wordpress.com https://www.facebook.com/seagypsyrachelann/
1 Elliot, Elisabeth. Twelve Baskets of Crumbs.Nashville: Pillar Books for Abington , 1976.