gentle off and on sprinkling
then a pouring out rain
cookouts and picnic plans shift
I celebrate in cool quietness
watching a white heron at the lake’s edge
when the rain pauses,
a pair of red birds come to sit in the sunflowers
“Christ eastering within us means we have a new center and core from which we live. We now live Christ’s life. Easter is more than a day, an event, a remembrance. It is a way of life”. ~Michael Marsh, in his blog Interrupting the Silence..
My life gathered new meaning when I began to understand the word Easter as a verb, not just a noun.
So what would it mean for you if you knew Easter as a verb rather than a noun? How would your life be different?
“Let him easter in us, be a dayspring to the dimness of us.” Gerard Manley Hopkins
When I was a little girl, I thought Christmas should always be on a Sunday. It seemed right to go to church for Christmas, to sing carols, to hear “Merry Christmas” from friends who gathered there. For the last 25 years, we have loved being in a church that celebrates Advent and also always has a Christmas eve communion and candle service. Any day of the week Christmas comes, the gift of Christ’s coming burns in my heart beyond all the gathering and cooking and gifting. This year the calendar said Christmas Eve on Sunday, timing I loved. Today is the 26th. It is quiet. I see some Christmas trees already out for trash and some are already removing lights and decorations.
I will keep Christmas. Decorations and lights will stay for awhile, but I will keep Christmas. The spark that is lit with the candles and carols must light something within me that stays. It will never be something I can clear away and put in a box. So like Mary, I treasure the gift and mystery of Christ’s coming – my Christmas ponders.
But Mary treasured up all these words and pondered them in her heart” Luke 2:19
A few days ago, a rare (for this area) snowfall briefly covered our homes, our gardens, and our church. Young and old rushed to the windows to watch as flakes began to drift down. Later, the rushing was to go outside, to lift faces and palms to the wonder. I often think just when I need the sense of wonder quickened, a gift like this comes to do just that. Wonder at snowfall or the tiniest dewdrop glistening on a rose petal is a nudge to be open, to remain open-eyed, to be receptive to the fullness and expectancy of Advent.
Wonder is the only adequate launching pad for exploring this fullness, this wholeness, of human life. Once a year, each Christmas, for a few days at least, we and millions of our neighbors turn aside from our preoccupations with life reduced to biology or economics or psychology and join together in a community of wonder.The wonder keeps us open-eyed and exceeds our calculations, that is always beyond anything we can make. ~ Eugene Peterson
I did not take this photograph; I do not know where it was taken. It found me. I kept returning to it to think of its story. How many hymns were sung by the faithful in this country chapel? How many wedding vows repeated as families began? How does the color of the glass glow when lit from inside at twilight?
I am grateful for those stories, the message of endurance told by weathered wood and stained glass.