Early morning Easter service in a new church.
Easter lunch with a 90 year old and her 3 week old great grandchild.
A challenging meeting about Camp responses to school violence.
9 hours in the woods along the upper Hudson River.
In the gospels we see story after story relating how Jesus left the crowds to listen and teach his disciples. And in case after case, the crowds followed them eager for more.
Do we have time to stop and reflect about the places and events in each of God’s weeks? EasterSunday service was in a community where Cathy and I knew only one other person – and the freshness of the surroundings and message added to the Easter message. Easter Lunch with family and friends (40 in all) was a day to celebrate the disappearance of Boston snow, and watching my mother, brother in law and more enjoying the presence of a 3 week old little girl in our community.
Two days later, I was off to Arkansas for a gathering of Camp directors to hear first hand accounts of survivors of school shootings over the last 17 years, to celebrate the creative and healing programs developed to minister to these youth and young adults and to begin to consider what might be next for all campers. Three days with many tears of loss and around healing stories.
Saturday found us on a three hour train ride along the upper Hudson River. We saw signs of spring, a river frozen over, a river flowing quickly in other places and lots of birds waiting for the ice to leave ponds and streams. Herons, ducks galore, geese, sparrows, wood peckers and more.
During the week, I was moving from one event to another as we often do in our busy lives. Taking a breath at the end of the week I could see that God was in the bookends of my week, buffering, making sense of the challenging middle portion. Stories of violence, tears of sorrow and tears of healing and plans still swirl in my mind, but the exciting Easter message and the reflective time in the woods bring a new vision of faithfulness into my life.
Do you see God in your week? How is the challenge moderated by moments of inspiration, forgiveness or meditation? Ready for a post Easter project? Keep notes of the next month – note the worship/inspiration moments, note the personal or corporate or community challenges, note your faith study or meditation and mark your energy/life engagement level. At the end of the month take a moment to review and maybe share your observations with a friend.
Jesus Christ is Risen. God is still in our weeks and lives. Watch for signs.
Peter Surgenor is the Executive Director of Holmes Presbyterian Camp and Conference Center in Holmes, NY.