“All nature sings and round me rings the music of the sphere,” Mathbie D. Babcock wrote. “This is My Father’s World.”
Certainly, this time of year bursts forth with the sense of new life after the dreary winter. The bird songs, the flowering trees, call us to be out in the world, in the creation. Easter is easy to understand in the coming forth from the tomb of winter into the new life of Spring. All the earth is resurrected from what was dead to new life. We had hoped, by this time, the ravages of pandemic would be waning. At the end of April, we see this happening. While we are open for worship, precautions are still in effect: no coffee hour fellowship or full-on singing, or mask-less worship for now. This challenges our choir, our committees, our ability to befriend new people coming to us. We must remain patient and faithful to our ministry here at Arbor Grove, not only for our sake, but for the sake of why we are here: to be a light to our
community, a refuge for the lost and lonely, the body of Christ, empowered with the Spirit.
This month we will celebrate Mother’s Day on May 9; Pentecost—the Coming of the Spirit to the Disciples, on May 23; and Memorial Sunday on May 30, where we commemorate those who have died in service to our country. These are “generative” events in the life of the church. They plant us in the ground of the Significant, which produces blossom and fruit. We are reminded we have inherited our faith from those who have kept it faithfully, kept faith in our God: “Who from our mother’s arms hath blessed us on our way with countless gifts of love and still is ours today.” (Martin Rinkart, “Now Thank We All Our God.”) “The Spirit and the gifts are ours through him who with us
sideth.”(Martin Luther, “A Mighty Fortress is Our God”). We have been given the Spirit to endure all this, all these challenges, not the pandemic only, but the horrific violence in our streets, the continuing pain of racism and economic inequality in our nation and in the world, and the degradation of our natural environment and the human cost of war. We must not grow weary or hopeless about the work we have as Christ’s church to reconcile and heal, we must not surrender to the cold and dark, but take hope in the warming winds and the Spring light, that God can bring about new life in every situation, forevery person, in every condition. We are Easter
people who are anointed by the very Spirit of God! God is faithful! It is for us to catch God’s Spirit and share it. It’s a hard time to be church. So what? Are we not called to dare anyway? Yes! And we are able, through Him who is with us! Thanks be to God, who gives us the Spirit of Christ, the Risen One, to bring new life to the world. Amen.
Pastor Linda Farmer-Lewis