Tag Archives: Jewish legend

Trumpets in the Morning

Lawrence Lipton’s poem Trumpets in the Morning leans on the Jewish legend that the Satan misses something of life in heaven. Reb Yussel heads for the synagogue as usual but on this occasion the unusual happened. His shadow ran ahead of him up the steps, shows itself on the wall and then turns into a majestic prince with garments to match and an offer of much knowledge—even knowledge of the future. Reb knows it is the proud Satan who was banished after a failed coup against God—so they say—but he treats him with respect. Yussel doesn’t want to know about the future; instead he asks the proud one who has so much knowledge:

What is it you miss more than all else

Of heaven’s bliss?

The Satan pondered long.

Bowed down his head, then sighed and said:

“Trumpets in the morning,” and then was gone.



Sir Winston Churchill arranged his own funeral, so certain was he of the eternal dimension to life.

At his own direction, the great hymns of the Church were played and the beautiful liturgy of Cranmer’s Book of Common Prayer used……

….. and then, and Churchill had planned this too: a lone bugler, located at the very top of the dome of St.Paul’s, began to play “taps”: the international signal for the ending of the day.

As the last note floated over the congregation, another bugler – also at Churchill’s direction – located directly across from the first bugler – began to play Reveille.

That’s Easter – God’s triumphal trumpet blasting out the stirring strains of new life – life lived in Resurrection glory – here and hereafter!
















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God is with us in our joys and celebrations. He is also with us in our sorrows and suffering, and at our death.

There’s an old Jewish legend:

A Rabbi asked Elijah, “When will the Messiah come?” Elijah replied, “Go and ask him yourself.”

“Where is he?”

“Sitting at the gates of the city.”

“How shall I know him?”

“He is sitting among the poor covered with wounds. The others unbind all their wounds at the same time and then bind them up again. But he unbinds one at a time and binds it up again, saying to himself, ‘Perhaps I shall be needed: if so I must always be ready so as not to delay for a moment. “


The Messiah, the story tells us, is sitting among those in need, binding his own wounds but in such a way that he is always ready to help others when needed. This is the way of the Christian, the follower of Christ. We are all called to be wounded healers. We are not immune to suffering but as we look after our own wounds, we have to be prepared to heal the wounds of others.

Another way of putting it is the way that Jesus put it to his disciples. “If anyone wants to come with me, he must forget himself, take up his cross, and follow me.”

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