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10/12/2016

A short reflection and prayer with Andrea Rea.

2 minutes

Last on

Sat 10 Dec 2016 05:43

Script, Andrea Rea, Saturday December 10th 2016

Good morning.
I saw a photograph recently of a sign outside a high school in the midwest of America – the sort of sign that usually announces school bake sales or wins at football.  The sign said “congrats to Bob Zimmerman, Class of 1959, who received a Nobel Prize in Literature”. 
It’s a pretty safe bet that the words “Nobel Prize” had never appeared on that bulletin board before.  Hibbing, Minnesota is known for an enormous open pit mine on the edge of town, and a museum dedicated to the Greyhound Bus Company.
But, Hibbing is also where Bob Zimmerman grew up; talented, rather driven – and because of that, possibly a little bit of a misfit.  He didn’t stay long, and along the way he changed his name to Bob Dylan.      
This afternoon the Nobel Prize Award Ceremony will take place at the Stockholm Concert Hall.  I gather that Bob Dylan won’t be there, and not everyone may agree with the Nobel committee’s choice, but to use just two words of a rather magnificent Dylan song, “it’s alright”.  Dylan’s writing stands apart from any honour or criticism it might receive.  And whether you love or loathe someone’s work, it represents them to the world in ways that can sometimes separate from the personal and become universal.
Alfred Nobel himself had reason to be loved and loathed.  He invented dynamite and made a fortune doing that.  That fortune now endows the prize that honours, in his own words, “those who, during the preceding year, shall have conferred the greatest benefit on mankind”.  How do we reconcile destructive weapons with gold medals for sciences, literature and peace?   
Lord God, help us to see and understand the contradictions that are all around us. Show us how to us to navigate through them and stay true to ourselves.   Amen.  

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