May the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Spirit be always with you!
On this Wednesday, half-way between our annual flower services, and with Monday's sad news, what has been on my mind this week is pondering death and resurrection. At our flower service each year, we sing "In the Bulb There is a Flower" and this is a song that is full of images of resurrection.
When we think of that word "resurrection" our minds usually (or at least my mind usually) goes first to the Easter story. Jesus was tortured and was killed on Good Friday; but then two days later, on Easter, his grave was empty other than a couple of figures there asking the women who came to tend his body, "Why do you look for the living among the dead? He is not here, for he is risen!"
This is the story that is at the heart of who we are as followers of Jesus - this is the story that shapes how we view the world. This is the story that allows us to trust the words of the hymn that we sing at our flower service - that allows us to trust that the bulb will become a flower, that the seeds will become a tree, that the cold and snow of winter will melt into spring. This is the story that allows us to understand the words of author Frederick Buechner who wrote "the worst thing isn't the last thing." For resurrection is everywhere in the world - it is all around us - endings aren't really endings but every ending is a new beginning.
I watched a YouTube video last night that was talking about nihilism and hope, and the creator (Khadija Mbowe) was talking about how we have to actively choose to hope. If we don't choose hope, if we don't choose to trust that something better is coming, then we will be bound up by inertia and never be able to do anything.
And so I invite you to ponder how you are going to hope. How are you going to trust that something better is coming? How are you going to trust (in the words of the song) that "in our end is our beginning"?
I have a couple of announcements to pass along this week:
As I mentioned at the beginning, we have two more flower services coming up this Sunday. We will be gathering at Westfield at 11:15 am (with livestreaming on our Facebook page); and again at Summerville at 4pm (no morning service on the peninsula). Bayswater-Summerville folks - we will be gathering outside in the cemetery for our service, so don't forget to bring a lawn chair with you, and an umbrella if needed to keep either the rain or sun off! (And can you please help spread the word about the changed service time to anyone who may not receive this e-mail?)
We are beginning our summer movies this week! We will gather this evening (Wednesday) at 7pm in the parlour at Westfield United Church to watch The Greatest Showman - this is a 2017 musical about P. T. Barnum (of circus fame). Coming up next Wednesday, a classic - The Princess Bride!
And finally, I can share with you the details about Ida MacPherson's funeral service. It is going to be at Westfield United Church (Ida was an active member at Summerville, but Westfield offers a larger space as we are expecting a lot of people will want to attend) on Saturday at 2pm. The service will be livestreamed on the Two Rivers Pastoral Charge Facebook Page for anyone not able to attend in-person. Thank you to everyone who has stepped forward with offers of help.
And that's it for announcements this week.
As a closing thought, here is another episode of "What is Rev. Kate listening to these days?" I heard this song for the first time this week, and the aching beauty and hints of hope in the words struck my heart - "Free" by Florence + The Machine.
Blessings to you and yours, today and always!
Rev. Kate Jones Two Rivers Pastoral Charge (506) 757-2201 (office) (506) 343-1307 (mobile) www.tworiverspastoralcharge.com Pronouns: she/her/hers "Teacher, what is the greatest commandment in the law?"
Jesus replied, "You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your being, and with all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: "You must love your neighbour as you love yourself."