Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
I am so glad spring is here and we have once again celebrated the message of life and hope that Easter brings. I don’t know what your thoughts are but even though it was a mild winter with very few days of brutal cold and just a few snow falls that even required getting out a snow shovel. Winter still had its serious moments. Because of those moments, I find that the cold finds its way to the inside of my bones a whole lot faster than what it used to. Somebody may comment that is simply old age, but something unexpectedly has happened! Snow removal may be out of the question as heart surgery has a way of limiting certain activities.
Spring says we made it and Easter reminds us that our loved ones who have gone on before us have made it too. “Where O death is your sting?’ ‘Where O death is your victory?” Grass has gotten green; the day lilies are blooming and the pretty purple flowers that are covering a part of our backyard is an unexpected surprise. They weren’t there when we moved in last year but after some serious consultation with my neighbors we have a name for our pretty purple flowers. Our pretty purple flowers are called Creeping Charlie and its got to go!
This spring the expected did happen as well as the unexpected. But that’s life! The expected doesn’t happen and the unexpected does happen. Life can get really fickle at times as in when we go to a tomb on Easter morning with nard and perfumes and what we find is an empty tomb. The ending that we expected is not what we got!
But in the morning when I rise Jesus will be there! No matter what happened in the night, in the darkness or in the places that we cannot see Jesus will be there and is there. My faith tells me that.
As I write this article I am sitting in my car watching Will practice baseball and the temperature is 42 degrees and the wind brings the temp down to 35 degrees. Once again Canadian air pushes in on my T-shirt, cut off shorts and grilling on the Bar-B-Que dreams. The cool temps are unexpected and according to my wants and wishes it is a cheap shot from the many creative adventures of God’s creation.
That brings me to the realization that God is going to do what God is going to do and wants to do. God loves me but regardless of my opinion things might not happen the way I want them to happen. We know that God listens and answers prayers, but does that mean God changes for me or is it me that needs to change for God? If we think God is going to change so we can stay the same then there will be a lot of unexpected in our life.
Spring is a time of new life and sometimes we need to embrace the unexpected as much as the expected, because both are and can be God’s creativity in Creation. Yes, I also understand that God gives creation a certain amount of freedom to create and sometimes what creation creates is chaos. But why should creation be any different than us humans who can create immeasurable chaos with our own freedom to do whatever we feel is best to do. That’s when tragedy happens!
This spring we are going to initiate a prayer team with the simple vision of listening to God and coming to the knowledge of what God is guiding us to be as a church. Having a vision and knowing where we are going with God’s leading gives us a way forward into the future. It also gives us a vision that will help us be guided through the unexpected and keeps us away from the tragedies of being church that other churches seem to find themselves in with low attendance and membership.
Spring is a time of life and hope and our prayer team will help us facilitate that spring vision. They are not miracle workers nor are they lone rangers as we need our whole congregation praying for the church. So with your prayers and the prayers of our prayer team we can continue to be a blessing to our community and when the unexpected hits us it won’t turn into a tragedy. Pray unceasingly!
See you Sunday.
Rev. Dennis Hopes