It is the season of Easter and what an amazing gift these fifty days and nights to encounter the risen Jesus on the road to Pentecost have been! This is truly a time of renewal! The grass is growing, farmers are planting, fruit trees have blossomed and new life abounds. Children and youth are graduating with hopes of a new journey. It is also the season of new Baptisms and Confirmations! Faithful of all ages are deciding to align their lives with God's plan. For springtime to happen, winter must pass and old things give way to the new. We are reminded of this as St. Paul writes to the newly baptized, telling them to leave old ways and keep their eyes on the prize. "So whoever is in Christ is a new creation. The old things have passed away. Behold, new things have come." It is Heaven you behold!
"It is Heaven you behold!"
This springtime following the dark year of COVID is a time of new grace. Many of us ask, "What will be the new normal?" In graduating from 8th grade, middle school or high school, we must mature. In tilling the soil to plant new things, we clean, repair and renew the structure of the garden. Look around and see what God is doing! New life abounds and it's time for a new planting. The resurrected Jesus is appearing along the way!
We all have a tendency to overlook the obvious. For example, we walk right past the budding flowers, the sights and sounds of children's outings and the raucous music of a working city. We walk past the joys of God's presence in all things because we choose to rush ahead. We also fail to appreciate the other side of that relational equation. From God's perspective, it is His special joy to be present and available to us -- His most precious creations. For He created the world with wondrous details to be powerful and instantaneous conduits of His presence in amazing little ways. God doesn't rush, but rather nudges and teases us to notice Him and let Him enhance and share delight in our journey. It can be a sudden breathtaking sunrise, a single flower in a struggling rose bush or an unforeseen visual snapshot claiming our attention from a forgotten memory. How charming it is that God will take the mundane and make it special, then weave it into an adventure when we tune Him in. What delight He takes in surprising us with little messages and nuggets of love!
"From God's perspective, it is His special joy to be present and available to us -- His most precious creations."
Through this Easter season I am experiencing an overwhelming sense of new hope! At the passing of a dark year, the signs of new life in the resurrected Jesus abound! God is present here and now, always, and does not leave. I say this as one who serves, but again, if you doubt, ask Him. Ask Him if He exists, or if He works, or if He cares. Ask Him how He wishes to appear to you and leave it in His hands. Set aside the baggage, become like a little child and give Him your undivided attention.
Now is the time where He wants to be a part of your journey! It is the season of Easter and Pentecost is on the way! Let God show you what it is He died for: For you, for me and for all. Let us together encounter the resurrected Jesus!
"Let God show you what it is He died for: For you, for me and for all. Let us together encounter the resurrected Jesus!"
Lastly, know that we are saving your place at church and are eagerly awaiting your presence!
Sincerely in Christ,
+Bishop Stephen J. Berg