During the day today, a poet friend and I participated in an interfaith clergy demonstration of support at Occupy San Francisco, and after that was over we spent a couple of hours at Occupy Oakland. I was moved by the way many of the occupiers seemed really committed to helping the poor; which was the central mission of that radical rabble-rouser, Jesus of Nazareth; and at Occupy Oakland, some of the occupiers were in fact homeless, disenfranchised, and out-of-work people, just the kind of people Jesus hung out with. But I can’t think that the political establishment today will be any more open to a moral call to support the poor than was the Roman Empire in Jesus’ day. I left Occupy Oakland feeling depressed.
So I went to sing from the Sacred Harp. I arrived late. I did not want to lead a tune. I did not sing well. But at the end of the singing, I felt restored. Such is the power of this music we sing: it can drive “these dark clouds from my sky” (Green Fields).