Newsletter Archives

The monthly Sing For Joy newsletter contains a letter from the program's host, Pastor Bruce Benson, along with a listing of music selections for each program and the corresponding scripture readings. If you'd like to receive a complimentary subscription, fill out our online request form to subscribe.

May 2019 Newsletter (Year C)

Pastor Bruce Benson

Seasons of the Spirit

On a south-facing windowsill of my home, sunnier now in the spring, are two potted amaryllis bulbs. They have been happily absorbing the season's light for less than two weeks now, but already they have thick green flower bud stalks rising into the sunshine, as if signaling their own bright green "thumbs up" approval for the end of a winter-long slumber in a dark corner of the basement. I expect that by the time you read these words, the green "thumbs" will have arrowed up and up and up; and not so very much later they will explode into dramatic bloom. Like slow-motion, living fireworks. 

The effect of seasons on an amaryllis bulb is a life-and-death effect. The cool, dark season of dormancy is just as important for flowering as is the season of warmth and light. Think of what prolonged and severe sleep deprivation does for human creativity, productivity and eventually health. Similarly, attempting to force an amaryllis to go without a season of dormancy — that is, giving it the same amount of light and water even when it wants to sleep — will not make it twice as productive, it will make it dead. If you are now thinking about the wisdom of Sabbath keeping, that's good. But there are other seasons too.

We human beings live with seasons that are most often not of our own making, but handed to us by life itself. Some of them we welcome, some we do not. Spring is almost universally welcomed. The same can be said for the Easter season in the church. Or those seasons of family joy that follow good news for a loved one. On the other hand, winter's life-threatening cold and hip-threatening icy walkways in northern climates, are welcomed by some and dreaded by others. And seasons of grief, loneliness and despair can come suddenly, hurt too much and last too long. Ignoring or denying the seasons of life generally does no one any good. 

One of the ways music of the Easter season addresses this human condition is by honoring our seasons of the spirit. To be sure, Easter music is often bold, colorful, lively and loud. But because it is life and love affirming, it is also honest; and that means honoring those who are in seasons of sorrow as well. True hope does not arise from turning one's back on ordinary life, but from seeing the gentle stirring of a Holy Spirit in the midst of that life. Easter and its music do that so well. In the same way that the sunshine on my window sill does not denounce the darkness in which my amaryllis bulbs have lived for the past several months, so Easter music, like sunshine, does not denounce or drown out seasons of shadow, but welcomes, warms and encourages any and all who have lived there. Regardless of the current season of your spirit, we at Sing For Joy hope that you can sing for joy this Eastertime.

Peace be with you,

Bruce Benson

Pastor Bruce Benson

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Sing For Joy is supported by listeners like you. We are in the midst of our spring fund drive. Please consider a gift and help us make our goal of $10,000 by the end of May. Have questions or want to donate by phone? Call us at 507-786-2600.

May Playlists and Programs

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Lanterns in Boe Chapel

Memorials and Honorariums

Thank you for your gifts in memory and honor of those close to your heart.


J. Robb Bartlett,
on Easter

Myron Hauge

Rev. A.D. Tice

Jean E. White


Mrs. Lorella Boggess

Miss Peggy Bunting

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