Thursday, August 13, 2015

Make Way for the New

It is still summer, but my mind is turning to harvest. There is something deep within me that connects to this time of year. I get out my jars and preserve and pickle the end of summer’s bounty, as generations before me have. Harvest is more than gathering what has grown, however. It is the beginning of the dying season. In order for plants and fields to grow again, to produce something new, there must be a dying away of the old.

In an edition of The Robcast, a podcast by Rob Bell, he highlights the enormous meaning of Abram leaving his homeland at God’s direction. In Abram’s time, people did not leave their homeland. They stayed in the same place for generations; it was what was known to them. God’s request meant Abram doing something entirely new and unknown, and Abram said yes. In order to do this new thing that led to what we now know as a covenant with God and the dawn of a new religion, Abram had to leave behind the known. He had to let something end in order for something new to begin. All he had to go on was his trust in God.

I was recently reflecting with my colleagues on the meaning of my baptism. As a Baptist then, I answered my own call to baptism, and the words I heard at age 8 still carry powerful meaning: “Buried with Christ in baptism, raised to walk in the newness of life.” I have had many deaths and resurrections since then…things that have come to an end so that something new can begin, and parts of myself that have had to die so that I could become who I needed to be. A prayer never far from my thoughts is the Prayer of St. Francis, which ends “it is in dying that we are born to eternal life.” In order to get closer to our true nature, our best self, our Christ-self, we are constantly evolving. It requires a letting go of what is known, a dying away of what no longer serves us. This is where new life begins.

As you enter into this time of harvest, reflect on what it is in your life that might need to be left behind. Trust in God to take you into the new territory of what is to become.

 - Rev. Lee Anderson, Trinity's Minister of Care