I first heard “Over the Rainbow,” more commonly known as “Somewhere Over the Rainbow,” sung by Judy Garland in the 1939 classic movie The Wizard of Oz. The lyrics were written by Yip Harburg and composed by Harold Arlen. It won an Academy Award for best original song that year. Usually I write about songs from the 60’s to the 90’s, but I am taking a little break from that period, and I can use a little break from our current reality. This movie was a wonderful trip down memory lane. It came to me as I prayed for an out-of-the-box sermon series for my church, Emmanuel UMC-Beltsville. Our tech broke the movie into five segments that I expound on along with texts from the book of Acts in the Bible.
In the movie, Dorothy’s aunt told her to find a place where she would not get into any trouble. She starts thinking out loud “someplace where there isn’t any trouble….” She wonders if there is such a place, reasoning that it can’t be reached by a boat or a train; it’s far away behind the moon and beyond the rain. Then she starts singing.
Somewhere, over the rainbow, way up high, there’s a land that I heard of once in a lullaby. Somewhere, over the rainbow, skies are blue, and the dreams that you dare to dream really do come true. Someday I’ll wish upon a star and wake up where the clouds are far behind me. Where troubles melt like lemon drops; away above the chimney tops, that’s where you’ll find me.
This pandemic is making me feel nostalgic. I remember the delivery people bringing milk and ice to our home. We knew the men by name. We stayed home or visited our neighbors and found creative ways to entertain ourselves. The Wizard of Oz, It’s a Wonderful Life, and several other movies would play once a year, and we would gather around our one television set and watch together.
Now we get home delivery of more than milk. We are visiting family, friends, and neighbors all over the world on social media via electronics that I wouldn’t have imagined as a child. We are finding creative ways to connect in our communities. We pray for each other’s safety and give what we can from our resources. I look forward to the time when the troubles we face are far behind us. But not just the virus: I’m including racism, sexism, hatred, inequality, disparity, joblessness, homelessness, inadequate healthcare… all the things that 2020 had given us the “vision” to see. Until then, I’ll live the best that I can, embracing what I can. We are worshipping virtually until we can safely re-enter our building. Join us. You can find the ink to this series titled “There’s No Place Like Home” on our webpage www.eumcbeltsville.com or our Facebook page www.facebook.com/groups/EUMCBeltsville/. Until next time:
Operating Virtually Encourages Reconnecting