Monday, June 05, 2006

St. Ursula and the Only Thing Worth Living For

There's a song playing as I write. It's called "Sigma". The lyrics are in Gaelic, and translated they read,

I search for the sign
That will set my soul free
My heart must be pure
So that I can find peace

The wind is your voice
The rain is your tears
Your burning heart
And spirit is my salvation

The song has interesting memories for me. Some time ago I came across a legend, dating back to the Dark Ages, about a young woman named Ursula, daughter of a pagan king, who became a Christian through the missionary work of the Celtic church. Her story is one of fleeing the world and seeking a place of safety and peace in which to freely worship the Lord. In the end, her love for God resulted in martyrdom: along with several companions, she was murdered by one of Europe's marauding tribes. It is a legend, likely without much basis in fact, but the idea of a love for Christ so personal and pure that it would cause a person to "reject all the world and gaze straight into the sun, crying out to her beloved," as one old song says, is captivating.

Last February I had the chance to spend a week with some dear family on the west coast, and my cousin and I spent quite a bit of time talking about Ursula and fleshing out the story for ourselves. The Scriptures we'd been reading placed great emphasis on the high value we ought to give Jesus Christ... the high value so few of us truly give Him. Inspired by Scriptural example and legendary devotion, we made something of a production out of the story, using music and ballet to illustrate it. "Sigma" was the first song we used. It expressed something of the longing for Christ that is part of conversion and part of living a holy life with its end in a beautiful eternity.

There's an old saying that goes, "If you don't have something worth dying for, you're not really living." I would amend that and say that if Christ is to us not worth dying for, we're not really living. Causes will pass away with every other earthly thing, but the Lord Jesus Christ, victorious in glory, remains forever.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sister Rachel, I am once again blessed by your writing. In reading it , I am remonded of the world that we live in where men have no fear of God. Judges 21:25 IN THOSE DAYS THERE WAS NO KING IN ISREAL: EVERY MAN DID THAT WHICH WAS RIGHT IN HIS OWN EYES. Today more so than ever this seems to be the case. God Bless You! Pastor Hall

8:16 p.m.  

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