It seems we are (finally!) beginning to feel the warmth and sunshine of spring. This has been a long winter that can
often feel like we are wandering in the wilderness; without an end in sight. So, it was quite welcome to read the scripture
on the Sunday before the month of May began (John 15:1-8)---about the vine grower and the vine (an analogy to God and Jesus)
who give us what we need to live and to grow as branches so that we may flourish and be fruitful.
Spring reminds us though life may
be cold and challenging with the sky overcast--- warmth and renewal is just around the corner. Knowing this, hope springs
eternal as we remember that life, with God, is filled with possibility. What nourishes, nurtures, and sustains us is that which the
vine grower provides through the vine to the branches…sap. It is what we all share in common and it is what we
most need. It is life giving and life sustaining and it holds within it the promise of life eternal. And, this
‘sap’ does not stop with us----it flows through us to others. This sap is LOVE. And, love has the
power (beyond sustaining life) to heal, transform, and to liberate…miracles that happen every day to each of us; even
on a cold and overcast day...
let us flourish. Let us bear much fruit. And, let us never miss an opportunity to be a ‘sap’
for love...in every season. Amen!
Many blessings, my fellow branches,
enjoy spring!, Pastor Aaron
reflection April 2018:
As we enter Holy Week and head
toward the Easter Celebration, we enter a time when we imagine and experience, in part, what brings us to that moment of discovery…the
tomb is empty. We will gather on Thursday night and share a meal as Jesus did with the first followers—those he
loved and who loved him. Then, we will solemnly experience Good Friday with scripture, song, and prayer. Finally,
we will celebrate the Good News of Easter during 2 services. We gather, we remember, we lament, we wait (Saturday),
and then, with great joy, welcome in Easter.
Three simple words “He is Risen!” are said often (and with
great joy) on Easter morning. What does this mean and how do these 3 words affect us personally? The cross fades
from view with the startling discovery the tomb is empty. Even those that run to witness this miracle find it incredulous.
Do we? How does this affect our faith and even our lives to know that Jesus could not be kept in that tomb, that death
does not have the last word, and Good Friday(s) are followed by resurrection?
As we move from the Lenten wilderness, through this week, on our way
to re-discover the empty tomb may we reflect on this Good News and how this might change our lives. We just might discover
that resurrection is not just a belief…it is that in which we can find hope and it can even become a way of life.
HE IS RISEN dear friends,
just as he said. May we remember that our Good Fridays are never the last word either…for
we will rise, too. That is Good News, indeed!
Many blessings on this Holy Week and may Easter
be a celebration all year long,
Pastor’s reflection March 2018:
As we continue through the season of Lent, a time for intentionally
making more room for God in our lives, we might spend some time to quiet ourselves and listen for God’s still small
voice speaking to us, guiding us, loving us. Might we do this through meditation or prayer? Spending time alone
In Mark 1:14-15 Jesus
came out of the wilderness proclaiming the Good News of God saying “…the kin-dom of God has come near, repent,
and believe in the good news.” In spite of (or perhaps because of) the 40 days and nights Jesus spent in the wilderness
with wild beasts and ministered to by angels, Jesus is clear about the love and goodness of God --- in spite of what fears
might be felt in the world.
Jesus discovered this…during the quietude of his wilderness experience.
My prayer for us this Lenten season is to spend more quiet time
with God. Jesus came out of that experience certain of and eager to proclaim the Good News of God. May we, too,
discover the everlasting love of God (Jeremiah 31:3) during this Lenten Season that provokes us to proclaim the Good
News of God, too. As Jesus said, we can more than proclaim…we can believe in the good news.
May it be so, Amen!
Many blessings on your Lenten journey,
Pastor’s reflection February 2018:
Among the many holidays we celebrate Valentine’s Day is
one of my favorites. What other holiday has us stop in the midst of our busy schedules---for LOVE? Oh sure, the
candy, flowers, and other romantic gestures may seem a bit schmaltzy in how it has been commercialized ----but is it really
overly sentimental? Or are we being called to stop and express our love; to be sure we never take it for granted?
Throughout the Bible, God speaks about love in affectionate
and tender terms. In Jeremiah 31:3-4 God says “I have loved you with an everlasting love; I have drawn you with
unfailing kindness.” And, at Jesus’ baptism, God claims and names Jesus (and by extension us) by saying
“You are my beloved.” What if EVERY day was Valentine’s Day for God and with God? God has given
us way more than chocolate and flowers---for we praise God from whom all blessings flow and these
blessings and this love flows all the time..
Maybe on this Valentine’s Day we can stop to remember who loves us first and
always….and then, with joy, share that love with those who are dear to us. Now THAT is holiday we can stop to
celebrate every day of the year---and, yes, celebrating with flowers and chocolate is nice, too!
Many blessings dear hearts,