PASTOR’S COLUMN

Pastor Burke

 

Dear friends,

This new season of Easter has brought many gifts; not least of which is the recent dry spring weather. The rain has been abundant in 2017, taking us safely out of drought. God willing, we’ll continue in dryness and welcome the growing warmth as we enter the merry month of May.

I do love May, for it is the season when spring truly awakens, when all the flowers and trees and vines are in full bloom so marvelous May is even more precious.

This season also reminds me of how sensitive we each are, and of the mysterious way in which we grow and learn in our lives. For in spring we see how responsive the earth is to the sun’s arrival and how powerfully its touch brings new growth and new life, after the long, dark, cold winter. Each plant, creature and organism has a piece of the divine in it, a soul. And the warming sun, nurturing rain or life-giving air, is like the spirit. All of life has a soul, created by God and it is the divine spirit that connects all of creation.

Our soul is the unique piece of God that lives within. It is the part that is eternal, life-giving and, whether we know it or not, always present. For our soul is the heart of us, yet it is the part that least identifies with who we think ourselves to be, with our history and day-to-day personality. The soul is the God created self that lies at the core of our existence, the piece that is always and forever with God.

Glory to God, who is able to do far beyond all that we could ask or imagine by his power at work within us.       Ephesians 3: 20

The spirit is the action of God that radiates out from the divine to make contact with us over the course of our lives. Spirit, as in the Holy Spirit, is the active outward flow of God’s miraculous grace. This force of spirit calls on each of us at different times, sometimes unexpectedly, or when we call on God to meet us and ask for help.

So, soul is that which lives within us, the God within, and spirit is that which unites us to others and to the greater God.

Spirit is what we sense when we come to church, to worship. It is the feeling that moves and inspires our prayer, our song and our engagement in the sanctuary and afterwards in the social hall. At its core, spirit works by awakening our soul so that we feel God’s presence. Like a breathe of fresh air, renewing our lungs and body, the spirit is like oxygen to our soul. The soul is roused so that we not only feel the spirit, God’s breath, we also experience this breath of God in our soul, as ourselves. When soul and spirit work together, they become one and we can know ourselves as children of God.

Our bodies and minds, emotions and personalities are not as bright or as fine as our soul or the spirit. Though the body can seem more solid, more real than the soul, yet the soul will live forever and the body only lasts for a relatively short time. So take time to know your soul and notice how it responds when the spirit visits you. Cherish both for they offer the greatest of gifts, a direct path to God, tailor made for you by the divine one.

Here is poem that tells of how we change and grow and evolve, all by God’s grace and command.

We began as a mineral. We emerged into plant life
and into the animal state. Then into being human,
and always we have forgotten our former states,
except in early spring when we almost
remember being green again.

Humankind is being led along an evolving course,
through this migration of intelligences,
and though we seem to be sleeping,
there is an inner wakefulness that directs the dream.

It will eventually startle us back
to the truth of who we are.                                                                                 
-Rumi

Listen to the spirit and honor the wisdom of your soul. In this way, God will be with you. Like a divine web, the soul at the center of your life with the spirit, surrounding and connecting you to all of creation.

Blessings,

Pastor Burke