Ponderings of the Priest

As I awoke this morning, I went to what I like to call my upper deck tree house. I had heard a hawk screeching andponderingrotator wanted to find out if I could actually see it. Stepping out onto the deck, I was surrounded by green. Fresh, bright green! Overnight, all of the leaves on the trees surrounding my house had burst forth from the branches! Green—everywhere!

The birds- Robins, Cardinals, Wrens, Blue Jays and who knows what else, were all singing their little hearts out. The hawk, of course, was nowhere to be found. A few Vultures also circled overhead for good measure. Chipmunks skirted in and out of the riprap below. The squirrels leapt from branch to branch. (They were probably hiding out because THEY could see where that hawk was…) They were all fully alive!

Spring is here with summer hot on it’s heels! (yes-that was an intentional pun…) And so the seasons go ‘round. Two months ago the tree branches were bare. Everything was bare. And it was cold! And yet, this seemed to go unnoticed by all of the birds, squirrels, and chipmunks. They all were still singing their little hearts out, the hawk still screeched, the Vultures still circled, the owl still hooted at night, the squirrels and chipmunks still did their thing on any given day. It was almost like it didn’t matter what the season was. Maybe, maybe, because they all know and trust that, regardless of which season it is, they’re all God’s seasons. They all remained fully alive!

Oh, that, we could have the same trust for all of the different seasons of our lives - Seasons that go beyond summer, spring, fall, etc. Rather, the metaphorical and spiritual seasons we all go through: birth, life, death, change, loss, transformation, illness, tedium, stress, fear, new beginnings, loving times, etc.. And, yet – no matter what-, they sing! LOUDLY! JOYFULLY! Can we know, can we believe, can we trust, that these are ALL God’s Seasons and sing as well?

Simone Weil, a 19th Century philosopher, got the question right. She said, “the question is not, where is God when these things happen? The correct question is, Who is this God to whom we can turn when they do?” But turn we must, and act we must, if it to have any lasting, supportive effect. It doesn’t mean it’s easy or even comfortable, but other options are not good.

That is the “how of it” that the creatures of this earth teach us. They act. They continue on despite their external surroundings. Perhaps they even understand the transient nature of those externals. Nothing lasts forever. That is the nature of the creative process. That is, except the eternal, unchanging God to whom we can turn regardless of our seasons – singing, trusting, being fully alive!

Your Sister in Faith,

Brenda+

You can read the full May Channel here

“If you want to build a ship, don’t drum up the people to collect wood and don’t assign them tasks and work; but rather teach them to long for the endless immensity of the sea.”

Antoine de St.-Exupéry

Connection.  We connect, we relate to each other, we are inspired by each other through stories. It is through the telling of our shared experiences that we help each other long for the immensity of the sea. It is through the telling of our story of how you or I get through a difficult experience that we believe we can get through the same as well. It is through the sharing of my experiences that you can think, “hmmm, perhaps that would help too.”

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But! If I tell you what to do, if I offer you a set of instructions, if you give me advice on how to manage myself or a certain situation—chances are that the listening will end, relating to you will be cut off, and I will tell myself how my situation is different than yours, how I am different and that you don’t understand. Instead of connection, there will be separation.

As a community of Christ’s disciples, as friends and fellow travelers in our journeys of faith, we too connect through our stories. We inspire, encourage, affirm one another through the telling and sharing of our experiences.

This is the goal of the change in our format of articles in the Channel. We are seeking to achieve all of these results through asking those submitting articles to tell the story of their experience about a certain event, ministry, project that has or is taking place at St. Matthias. We are reserving general announcements to the Sunday bulletins so as not to duplicate them. (for those without electronic/computer access, or who cannot get to church, the bulletins will be mailed.) We wish provide a media medium that will offer something in addition to general announcements.

We ask that you consider sharing your stories with us! How did you discover Jesus in your midst this month? What ministry did you exercise at your job that strengthened you, challenged you, and nourished you and your faith? How did your involvement in an ongoing ministry of St. Matthias deepen your connection with God that you want to share with our community?

Share your stories please! Help us all to long for the immensity of our relationships with God and one another!

Your Sister in Faith,

Brenda