The SPIRE – May 2017

Dear Edwards Church Community,

May flowers (it’s a verb)!  May bursts on the scene with an abundance of color.  The variety of flowers popping up, the trees and flowering shrubs, the colorful clothes and regalia of graduations, and the living-color feeling that imbues your senses during the first walk in shorts on a sunny afternoon, the first outdoor ice cream of the year, or the first night sleeping with open windows.

May flowers and once again the season screams fertility, nature proclaims its power to generate and regenerate bloom after bloom.  This is the time of year when possibilities are plentiful: the season of Eastertide, from Easter Sunday to Pentetcost.

This season moves me to reflect on where all this new life comes from, and it is mostly old life, recycled and given a new form of expression.  Every time I turn over soil to prepare a garden, breaking up the hardened clumps, mixing in the compost from prior years’ growth, and wondering how well this new round of plants will grow, I am reminded of the cycle of life in families and institutions.

Parents, extended families, and whole communities raise children.  Like seedlings, they soak up whatever is “in the air” (and soil and water) where they are raised.  Traditions are passed on and, as children grow into young adults, they rework or replace the traditions they inherit in light of new conditions and new knowledge.  Nature requires adaptation, and so does civilization.  The forms through which life is expressed age and pass away, but not before they inform the future – genetically and culturally.

Many in our church and wider community are educators, at different levels and in different fields.  I doubt the teachers among us – whether they teach budding elementary or college students – want their students only to imitate them.  Rather, I expect most yearn for their students to imitate only until they master a subject or skill to the point where they can add their own contribution to the field.

Jesus told his disciples near the end of his life, “I do not call you servants any longer, because the servant does not know what the master is doing; but I have called you friends, because I have made known to you everything that I have heard from my Father.”  (John 15:15)  We are a Christian church asking God to open us to a new way.  We hold in our hands all that we have received from our ancestors, who count on us not only to hold onto it, but to reform it and breathe new life into it in ways that will use what we have inherited to serve the present day and give it new life for the future.

May God bless you and keep you.  May God make her face to shine upon you and be gracious to you.  May God grant you peace and a brilliantly colored May.


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