A favorite poet of mine is Mary Oliver. Her poems evoke a sense of the natural world full of wonder and grace. In her poem, When Death Comes, about the inevitability of our mortality she ends the poem with this; “I don’t want to end up simply having visited this world.”
I believe that many of us have this sense of creating a life that has meaning, where we have not just simply lived but gave something more. There are dreams we all have, dreams that carry us forward into life. Some of these dreams may die or may have just changed as we grow and mature. I am not one for having the so-called “bucket list,” for me that removes the spontaneity of the every day life. By focusing only on certain items or tasks we miss the opportunities and people that lie right before us as we journey through life.
For Jane and I, stewardship is a reflection of not wanting to simply be mere visitors but being engaged with the world that surrounds us. We pledge because of our belief in the present and in the future, that our giving is a radical statement of faith. It is knowing deep within our own hearts and despite all evidence to the contrary that God in Jesus Christ is indeed doing a new thing, engaging in a new creation. It is a faith born out of hope and not despair, of seeing the joy and wonder rather than the focus on the dark and negative.
This past summer I learned about the power of love, gratitude and grace. The love of my wife, Jane, as she helped to nurse me as I recovered from the accident. The love of my family and friends who, not only visited, but helped to keep my own spirit up. The gratitude for all the care givers and those who helped me throughout my recovery, gratitude for the EMT’s, the doctors, nurses and physical therapists who never gave up and pushed me to get better. The grace of God, in giving me the hope and peace in the midst of the storm. The calm in the eye of the one who gives us life, love and wonder in all that we do in our world.
My hope and prayer is that our pledges will help Trinity to continue doing the good work that God has given us to accomplish. That we may continue serving at St. Luke’s/San Lucas, to supporting the food pantry here in Melrose, to keeping the doors open to our thrift shop as it serves the greater community, to continue providing our youth and children a place where they can grow in their spiritual lives and where all people are cared for and loved.
May God bless you all and I ask that you continue to pray for our community, the staff and all who give of their time and talent.