Parallel Thoughts?

In recent weeks we have celebrated the Rising of the Son as well as witnessing the increasing influence of the sun as new growth emerges and unfolds. The succession of spring flowers emerging from apparently barren ground has once more delighted and re-energised our minds and our spirits. “God writes the gospel not in the Bible alone, but on trees and flowers and clouds and stars.” wrote Martin Luther. Our understanding is that ancient Celtic Christians lived in great harmony with nature, and they called Creation the Big Book of God, and the Bible the Little Book of God. In the beginning of his Gospel St John, unlike Luke and Matthew, introduces Jesus, not as a helpless baby, but as the Cosmic Christ!

There are several pathways to fulfilment, peace of mind and contentment. For some it is through the loving, caring, compassion and service of interacting with family, friends and being active within the local community. Others develop their own pathway through an interest in, and love of, the environment and the natural world around them. Others may focus on the bible and church activities. None of these are mutually exclusive of course, and all can generate feelings of warmth, wellbeing, awe and wonder! So many of these things we simply take for granted, but it is worth sometimes simply stopping and wondering at all the miracles that surround us. Alongside the spring flowers already mentioned we have fields that were once stark brown and lifeless gradually taking on a subtle shade of green as all at once the cereal grains germinate and show their small, dagger-like leaves above the surface, before growing on to become the crops that will feed us later in the year. The antics of young lambs, small calves, leverets and the chicks of both wild and domesticated birds are also seasonal events that can make us stop, demand our attention for a while and make us marvel at the everyday.

These different thoughts and pathways are not in reality running parallel to each other; they intersect at times and eventually come together as we come to realise that the messages that we receive from the smile on someone’s face or the words that they say; the joy that we feel when we see a bud bursting into flower or a leaf uncurling, and the insights that we receive when we are deep in thought or prayer or by reading the scriptures are all part of our gaining a wider and deeper understanding of the forces and powers that are beyond our understanding. The mysterious energy that sustains life and wellbeing and gives us hope even in the darkest times which many of us think of, and refer to, as God.

The lockdown due to the Covid pandemic, for all its hurts and frustrations, has had one great benefit. It has made us realise how much we value being able to interact freely and frequently with family and friends; how important our gardens and green spaces are to our physical, mental and spiritual health, and how dependent we are on the higher powers and forces in everyday life, especially when events in our lives are beyond our control. Going forward the questions facing us revolve around how we raise our expectations and seek to make the most of, and care for, all that the wonderful world which surrounds us has to offer, not only for ourselves, but for our children and grandchildren as well. And also to reflect on how can we best do this together!

God Bless

Rev Cathy