Archive | April, 2018

Blossom Today

7 Apr

May the living earth blossom today as
A gift of gracious beauty,
A peaceful setting for surprising joy,
A reminder of courageous hope,
A moment of deep calm in a
jagged world.
May I have the stillness to see.

Resurrection: Mystery of Mysteries

3 Apr

 

My friend asked me this morning about a way to
illustrate the concept of  resurrection to young
children at our church.
So, we talked a while about new life, about
things that blossom from little seeds
planted in the dark earth, about the
realization of opportunities and new
possibilities.  All sorts of ideas come
to mind when we try to translate a religious
term…resurrection…into everyday language,
especially the picturesque language and
imagery of children.

So, within hours of that morning conversation, I went
home to work on a backyard project, and there
was New Life right before my eyes.
Squint a little and you can see them both
in the photograph.

Post-Easter, we begin to let the marvel of it all slip away.
For me, the central meaning of the Gospel is the
choice between the old and the new,
what was and what can be, a life
merely lived or a life that is
mostly miracle and mystery.

If they could speak our language, my little friends in
the garden would probably admit that everything
looks strange to their adolescent eyes, all
new, perhaps a bit scary at first.  Fundamental
change, resurrection, is like that.
“Behold, the old has passed away,
the new has come.”
In that in-between zone, when we dare to step
through the door, dare to throw the window open
to a fresh breeze, let hope and courage guide us
into a new light…in that often hesitant “yes”
to resurrection’s invitation, we find the
mystery of mysteries…there is
a Presence that really knows
all about resurrection,
One who waits to
help us unfold
this thing
called
New Life.

“Come,” we hear, “let me teach you to fly.”
That’s the way it’s supposed to be for my two
little garden friends.
That’s the way it’s supposed to be for me
and for you.

 

Easter Morning

1 Apr

The perfect Easter morning.  Gray, overcast skies.
No hint of glorious sun.  A fitting metaphor for
the world these days.  Rather grim.

And yet in church parking lots, on grassy hillsides,
in public parks people gather to sing about an
event they remember only in story.  An ancient
story that unfolded in a very different culture,
in a very different world.

But now, in spite of gray skies and the absence of
radiant sunbeams, they smile, greet each other
with more than a casual “Hello”.  They listen
again to the retelling of the ancient story as if
for the first time.

The last song sung, the final work spoken, they
pick up their lawn chairs and go home.  The sky
is still that lifeless, steel gray color, overcast and
unremarkable.  Not a single sunbeam is in sight
as the last car leaves the lot.  Only the birds are
left to sing.

Bystanders ask “why?”  The point in performing
this annual parking lot ritual?

It’s the story.  The story’s the thing.  If the gray,
overcast sky is a metaphor for the assault of
gloom in the world, this story is the chronicle
of new life, new vision.  It excites a feeling lost
in the overcast.  A love story with a bad ending
and a great hope.

And so they drove home from the parking lot
having remembered the story, shared it again,
and drawn from it a sense of hope about life…
even under gray, overcast skies.