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Had I a Golden Thread

May 25, 2013 Length: 14:19

Dr. Rossi uses the song "Had I a Golden Thread" as sung by his wife of blessed memory to illustrate the opportunity we all have to be a healing presence.

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Transcript Transcript

Together let’s reflect upon what God is doing through us and how he’s doing through us in a fresh and new and metaphorical and song way, who we are and what we’re doing. It’s always great for me and you to get back to basics.

Oh, had I a golden thread
And needle so fine,
I would weave a magic spell
Of rainbow design, of rainbow design.

Who are we, really, really? We’re children of God. In 1 John 1, John says, “But to all who received him, who believed in his name”—that’s us—“he gave power to become children of God.” Then as children of God to do things, to be his children on this planet, and in that sense to make beauty, make beautiful things. In 1 John 1:5, it continues: “Everyone who believes that Jesus is the Christ is a child of God, a child with a purpose.”

Interestingly, at the end of John’s gospel, after the resurrection, Jesus is in Galilee on the shore at dawn. His apostles are out in the boat, and he speaks to them from the shore. We can kind of imagine that scene. I have been to Galilee and been to Lake Genessaret and at that spot. The first word that Jesus uses in speaking across the water to his apostles is “children”: “Children, have you any fish?” Well, they’re adults. I’m an adult and you’re an adult, yet we’re children of God. Of course, they went on and became fishers of men. So we understand that we’re adult children of God, and then we do things.

Metaphorically, for our purposes today, we are God’s golden thread. “Oh, had I a golden thread.” What I’m going to ask us to do is listen to my wife singing this song, “Oh, Had I a Golden Thread,” with a view to [the idea that] that’s us, that’s me, that’s you: we are God’s golden thread, being used to weave God’s beautiful work. We can’t see it, but it’s being done here and now, all day long, all night long, all evening long, with our lives.

Oh, had I a golden thread
And needle so fine,
I would weave a magic strand
Of rainbow design, of rainbow design.

In it I’d weave the bravery
Of a woman giving birth;
In it I’d weave the innocence
Of children of the earth, of children of the earth.

In it I’d weave the restlessness
Of men going ever forth
Through heat of blistering desert sands,
Through blizzards of the north, through blizzards of the north.

By the waters, by the waters,
I’d reach my magic hand
To every foreign city
Through every single land, through every single land.

Tell my brothers, tell my sisters
Of my rainbow design,
Tying up this sorry world
With hand and heart and mind, with hand and heart and mind.

Far across the waters
I’d reach my magic hand
To every human being
So he would understand, so he would understand.

Oh, had I a golden thread
And needle so fine,
I would weave a magic strand
Of rainbow design, of rainbow, rainbow design.

Yes, that’s my wife singing from heaven about how I and you are golden threads. Of course, she was a golden, golden, golden thread in God’s hands during her lifetime, leaving things, her life, leaving others, beginning with myself and my children, and Fr. Tom Hopko and a whole bunch of other people, many, many other people, richer and more beautiful because of her life. Therefore I and you are golden threads making, as she sang, a rainbow, a bow—rainbow—in the sky, on this earth a bridge, a bridge to others, a rainbow bridge to bring others to Christ.

We’re not interested in dividing lines, lines in the sand that separate us and our brethren. Oh, no, we’re interested in [the] common ground of humanity so that we might bring others through love into Christ’s fullness. So we don’t ponder all the differences and dwell on: “Oh, these people think that way and they have these beliefs. Let’s get all our ducks in a row.” No. Rather, these are human beings whom I love, whom God loves. St. Cyril of Jerusalem said, “Already you are gathering the spiritual flowers to weave”—that’s a weaving—“heavenly crowns.” We’re weaving heavenly crowns.

We can reflect a little on the way the Bible speaks of rainbows. A rainbow is a sign, a signal, a type of a covenant. In Genesis 9: “I have set my rainbow in the clouds, and it will be a sign of the covenant between the earth and me.” Genesis 9. In between black and white is not gray. No, in between black and white is the rainbow. The seal of the covenant was the rainbow which it is likely was seen in the clouds before and is the seal of the covenant that’s made now to make it so. Another quote from the Bible, from Ezekiel:

As the appearance of the rainbow that is in the cloud in the day of rain, so it was the appearance of the brightness round about. That was the appearance of the likeness of the glory of the Lord, and when I saw it, I fell upon my face, and I heard a voice of one that spake.

In Revelation, we find:

And I saw another mighty angel come down from the heavens, clothed with a cloud, and a rainbow was upon his head, and his face was as it were the sun, and his feet as pillars of fire.

And the last quote that I’ll quote, back to Genesis 9, about the rainbow that we are creating, weaving golden threads, rainbows, connectors:

And the rainbow shall be in the cloud, and I will look upon it, that I may remember the everlasting covenant between God and every living creature of all flesh that is upon the earth.

What an awesome thought. What an awesome way for us to comprehend what God is doing through us. The more we begin to understand and own and cherish God’s love for us and his activity through us as in golden thread, the more vital and energetic and vigorous we become in trying to love others. All others, whether it’s the mailman or any person—students, fellow workers—who cross our lives—fellow believers, other believers, humans. Then we try to bring them Christ’s love through our lives.

St. Silouan of Mt. Athos affirmed our brother is our life. What he meant was every person is their brother and sister. That’s my life. My life exists in that sense outside of me, for me to bring something to that person. Metropolitan Kallistos (Ware) says Christ is looking at us through the eyes of all whom we meet, not the selected few that I happen to like and ratify and have in my little cohort of fellow believers [who believe] like I do, and check off the right boxes and say, “Yes, yes, yes, yes, yes,” to various credal statements—everyone. Every human is an opportunity for me to be this golden thread in this rainbow.

I’d like to play again just the first couple of lines of my wife singing, just to allow us to go into this songfest, this feast.

Oh, had I a golden thread
And needle so fine,
I would weave a magic strand
Of rainbow design, of rainbow design.

I am and you are golden threads, being used by God to weave his handiwork, because of who we are. In Galatians 4 we find: “So through God you are no longer a slave, but a son”—and of course “or a daughter”—“and if a son (or daughter), then an heir.” We’re an heir to being a golden thread, an heir to being this beautifying agent on this earth. “Oh, had I a golden thread!”

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