May 3, 2014

Dear friends-

I could probably benefit from some self-examination on this front, but I have a lot easier time celebrating the beauty and joy of Creation when I’m not feeling tired of winter. Now that green has begun to overtake brown, gray, or white as the dominant color of the landscape, I’m feeling really grateful to God for this place where life and love live out their stories and dramas. Someone more patient and “present-in-the-moment” than I could fairly scold me for not appreciating winter and the fifth season more than I do. Guilty as charged…

But right now; Hallelujah! And the arrival this past Monday of a first grandchild has made this call of joy and celebration even more jubilant.

Why do we human beings have such a hard time living at peace with the natural world – living as PART of the natural world as I think we’re called to do? Oh, yes; we love nature; we just love it, but often more in the style of the Romantic poets than in a deep, humble, responsive, and responsible way. And mud season? It just tries our patience – and car springs.

Our gardens are lovely; our scenic vistas are breathtaking; when the world starts to turn green, we begin to get a glimpse of how sacred is this Creation with which our Creator is blessed… But we are not-so-slowly destroying the ecosystems that support not just us, but all the life – and air, stone, and water - on which we depend. To be honest about it, we are really bad at caring for this Earth. (In the long run, I have a feeling Earth will be fine. But we may well not be if we don’t learn and practice a few vital, sacred things.)

Religion – particularly Christianity, I suppose – has taken some much-deserved blame for our blindness to our brother/sisterhood with all the atoms of Creation. But the Bible actually tells us more about how to do this right than we often give it credit for…

So let’s talk about this – and sing about it, and pray about it. There’s no better time than now to do so. We have two musicians – Don Houghton and Ned Houston – to help us in this melodic, challenging conversation during worship tomorrow. At 10 AM. Join us; there is no “you” and “we”. Just us. Including the rocks, air, water, peepers, and new life everywhere. Even the parts that are grievously broken… This, of course, is the first part of the lesson we will do so well to learn together.

And we won’t learn it alone.

Springtime Sabbath blessings-
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