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This Week in the Reformed Journal: Vietnam, Sonnets, and More

This Week in the Reformed Journal: Vietnam, Sonnets, and More
By Jeff Munroe, Editor • Issue #90 • View online
Dear Friends,
When I was nine or ten years old, a classmate invited me to go downtown to watch the Memorial Day Parade with his parents. We goofed around through the parade, but then a band came by playing, “When Johnny Comes Marching Home” and I noticed my friend’s mother was crying. Later, my friend took me into a back hallway of his house and showed me pictures of his older brother, a soldier, and pulled out his brother’s Purple Heart medal. The brother had died in Vietnam.
I thought of that day when reading David Hoekema’s essay about the Vietnam War Memorial in Washington, D.C. My friend’s brother’s name is on that wall, along with 58,000 others. The architecture of the memorial mirrors the wounds of that war in profound ways, and David’s essay, published on the 40th anniversary of the Memorial’s dedication, asks us to pause and reflect on all that’s been lost.

A Rent in the Fabric of the Earth
Poetry Nerd Alert: Take a look and listen at the two sonnets published this week. Our poetry editor Rose Postma has an uncanny ability to find poets far and wide, and Gail White comes to us from Louisiana with her poem “Saul and the Witch of Endor.” In addition, we have Bethany Besteman with her sonnet, “Ruach Elohim.” Bethany is the worship director of a CRC church in Maryland, and she and Rose have a very interesting 11-minute conversation on our podcast about the Hebrew word ruach, about creating sonnets, and lots of other things. Bethany manages to bring Jesus into a 14-line poem about the first 11 chapters of Genesis. There’s a lot to appreciate there.
Saul and the Witch of Endor
Ruach Elohim
I know last week has come and gone, but I was away, and I want to add a word of commendation to Rose and the wonderful work she’s doing. Her interview with Sean O’Neill is a seven-minute-long treasure. I thought from his name Sean might be Irish, but he’s Scottish, and his accent does not disappoint. Nor does his poem “Leaning,” which employs iambic pentameter and a rhyme scheme as he reflects on a vision received during prayer. 
It’s great to come home to vigorous conversation on our blog and the good work of so many writers. I have to admit that I thought I was “CRC Synoded out,” but David Timmer’s erudite reflection, combined with his knowledge of CRC history, was revealing. And Steve Mathonnet-VanderWell’s musings on open communion were also of real interest.
Sex, Confession, and Discernment
Breaking with Tradition
I’m just scratching the surface, and, as always, there is much, much more at our home page. And special thanks to Steve Mathonnet-VanderWell for keeping this newsletter going while I was away.
Blessed Reading,
Jeff Munroe
Did you enjoy this issue?
Jeff Munroe, Editor

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