Reflecting on Transformation….

Rain by Kira SkalaLife has been full of surprises in the past few months. I always enjoy a pleasant surprise, but I must admit I do not do well with unexpected losses. When we seem to be drowning in bad news, I struggle to celebrate the good news. At times like these I look for answers. I wonder why life is so difficult and challenging for some, while others sail along, often obvious to the suffering that goes on around them. Perhaps I could manage to wrap my head around one or two of these shocking revelations, but not one after the other. As a Christian I look for redemption in the midst of suffering because I believe God offers more than answers. God offers transformation. God takes life that must end in death and transforms it into eternal life. I believe that eternal life starts now, not after we physically die and pass on. This life offers us inexplicable moments of joy at times when suffering seems bound to crush our hearts and souls. We hit the end of our rope, loosen our grip and expect to fall into the abyss. At that point we let go of what we expect the answer to be, of when that answer will arrive, of who will provide solace, of how grace will open up a path where we see only the Pit. Grace pours through the pain and we find ourselves safely in God’s embrace. Time seems to lose its meaning as we become lost in the wonder and awe. In all this darkness we have been searching for the Holy Spirit in light, only to find the God we seek has been drenching our hearts in Spirit filled water. We no longer need that worn out image of the Spirit as light. We need a Spirit of baptism to wash away the anguish and pain and fill us with joy. Make time today to open your heart to the Almighty, letting go of any and all expectations. Pray for the Holy Spirit to soothe your soul and fill your heart with the peace of God that passes all understanding. Look at what God brings into your life, suspending judgment and holding open space for God’s grace and mercy. And always remember, when we let go of our answer to prayer, God transforms our lives in ways beyond our understanding. Text by Connie Chintall ©2015, photo entitled ‘Rain’ by Kira Skala ©2015, All Rights Reserved

Advertisements

Reflecting on Easter….

Tux Bunny by Cassie RichardsSpring leaves adorn our trees, all the brighter green against an overcast sky. It seems that spring is late while Easter Sunday came early this year. So I was drawn to this whimsical photo taken by my new friend Cassie, of an unexpected Easter bunny. I know bunnies normally hop, but it seems to me the Easter Bunny should defy gravity, just as Christ defied death and the grave. I even like the tuxedo, a much better choice than those silly plaid vests that the Easter bunny is usually pictured wearing. I’m sure many of you might say I missed Easter, that it’s too late for the Easter bunny. At least in the Episcopal Church, Easter is a season, lasting from Easter Sunday until Pentecost. The resurrection isn’t just about the day Christ walked away from the tomb – it’s much more than that. We celebrate his resurrection, his time among us in his risen form, his ascension to heaven, then on Pentecost, the descent of the Holy Spirit on the twelve Apostles and followers of Jesus. A lot happens during the fifty days from Easter to Pentecost. The apostles go from huddling in a locked room to publicly proclaiming the good news of Christ, empowered by the Holy Spirit that rested on them in the form of flames. While Christ may have been resurrected in three days, it took fifty days for the apostles to be transformed. I don’t know about you, but I don’t like change, even when the change is a good change. Initially I resist, hoping whatever is upsetting the status quo will simply go away. Then comes the temptation to dwell on the negatives, and by God, I’ll make up a few if necessary. In time, I come around, although I may not always admit it. So I’m not surprised it takes a leaping bunny, dressed to the nines, to catch my attention, to bring me good news, good news I might actually hear. I need to hear that good news again and again, to resist the temptation to stay where I’m at, to simply remain the same. I need the ridiculous or fantastic to make me smile, to jar me out of complacency. Make time today to focus on good news. Listen closely to others around you, even when their viewpoint may be less than welcome. Remain open to new ideas, accept surprises with a smile. Refrain from labels of good and bad, us and them, comfortable and uncomfortable. And always remember, we must die a little to claim new life, to accept transformation wrought in God’s time rather than our own. Text by Connie Chintall ©2013, Photo entitled ‘Tux Bunny’ by Cassie Richards ©2013, All Rights Reserved.

Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 216 other followers