My dear folks,
The darkness has been lifting. The days are getting longer. With each passing day, we get a little closer to that giant ball of fire at the center of our solar system: our Sun. In this time of increasing brightness, new things can be seen - and acted upon. “This is traditionally the time of year when we look forward to spring and anticipate the coming of new life.” (Kat Hussein Liu) On January 21st was the Jewish holiday of Tu B’Shevat, when trees are traditionally planted and orchards blessed and seeds are planted for herbs which are used to celebrate the Spring holiday of Passover. On February 2, the Pagan holiday of Imbolc and the Christian holiday of Candlemas occurred, recognizing and making space for new beginnings. “In Catholic Ireland, [yesterday was also] the Feast of St. Brighid, a Gaelic fertility goddess.” (Liu) February 2 was also Groundhog Day, that distinctly North American holiday which derives from lore surrounding Candlemas: that clear weather on that day means a longer winter. And February 4 was the Taoist holiday of LiChun, which marks the start of Spring - followed this past Tuesday by the Chinese New Year - in which “offerings are made to the gods for a prosperous year, including bountiful harvests.” (Liu)
So, as we huddle safely indoors during this wintry weather, may we similarly look to the newness that is dawning in our midst - that has been planted within us and which we anticipate springing up from us as the weather warms.
Certainly, the state of things always shifts; newness is always coming about just as other things pass on.
But what newness is now dawning within you that we might midwife into the world together?
A couple of guiding questions toward that end:
If the two or three folks in your life were asked what your unique gifts are, what would they say? What invaluable beauty do you bring into the world?
What breaks your heart most about this world?
At the intersection of those two questions lies what we religious folk sometimes call your “calling”: where you’re being called into service.
Particularly as we look toward the broadening light and warming air: Where are you being called into service?
In faith, Pr. Tom