Pastor’s Pen

Driving up Rte. 22A in early May, make the turn at Addison on to Rte. 17 East.  Coming out of New Haven by the Fire Station, laid out before you is the panorama of fresh spring-green fields, various hues of buds and early leaves on the trees and bunches of daffodils in many yards.  Look off into the distance, and rising higher against the blue sky, Mt. Abraham is framed by Deerleap and Bristol Cliffs.  It was beautiful and intriguing at the same time… a gateway, even as Bristol village calls their hamlet, and it was my first real view of what would become our home these last 38 years. It remains one of the images imprinted in my mind.  There are other images too that have Spiritual significance to me; the brook in the back of our property growing up, the rocky coast of Maine, Weller Pond in the Adirondacks of N.Y.

Often our first real experience of God (after the warmth and assurance of our mother’s arms and the safety and strength of dad’s) is the expression of God’s creation…. nature itself of which we are a part.  Spring and Fall, perhaps more than Summer or Winter, are seasons that teach us of time’s passage and the cycles of activity and rest; responsibility and re-creation.  Being part of God’s creation, we have a vested interest in caring for the world even as we find the joy of seeing and experiencing it’s wonders!

And this gets me thinking.  As we have begun the Spiritual Season of Resurrection, it is rather like my eye-opening view of what would be my future seeing Mt. Abe.  Looking forward from Easter, we ought to be awakened to the possibilities of new life, of renewed relationships and a consideration of our caring responsibility toward all we have been given.  Today’s western culture doesn’t encourage us to engage in spiritual understanding or practice too much.  One of my first ‘deeper’ understandings of a life of faith is that it is not meant to bring happiness but joy.  We want ‘feel good’ experiences but God wants us to have more, he wants us to have joy.  Joy comes with commitment and consistent persistence.  It comes as we realize our lives have a deeper meaning and purpose.  I wonder if we forget a few days after Easter that the empty tomb is meant to be a life-altering truth defining not only the rest of this earthly experience but something that is much, much more!  

Spring is a time to get outside, plant seeds that will bring nourishment and flavor to our lives.  So is Easter!  

Look with wonder at creation itself popping forth with new life and sow some seeds of kindness, self-giving, patience, good-deeds and worship.  Then take a moment, stop and look around you at the beauty, the wonder, the Life that has taken root!  For the church of Jesus Christ, appreciation and calling go hand in hand.  Together may we bear the fruit of the Spirit in this fresh, new season of joy!     Dave