A MESSAGE FROM PASTOR PETER
The Next to Last Word
The wind is howling outside and the house groans and creaks. The unrelenting sound is unsettling. One of the cats is oblivious, asleep in one of his favorite spots. The other cat is nonplused, moving from one window to another meowing. I must confess that the haunting sound of the wind is making me uneasy as well. The wind will calm eventually, the cat will quiet down too, and a change in the weather can only improve my mood. There have been too many days in recent months that have offered experiences of the awesome force of creation. Such experiences tell me that I am not in control.
I recall the story of the prophet Elijah who stood on a mountain as all sorts of chaos wrought by nature swirled around him. The was an earthquake, a whirlwind, and wildfire. But, we are told, the Lord was not in any of those powerful visitations. Then there was a still small voice and therein was the Lord and Creator of all, speaking softly to Elijah and sending him on a new mission (1 Kings 19).
Our lives can be like a noisy, rushing wind pressing in upon us, distracting us, frightening us. But God does not intend these things to be the sum of our lives. God still speaks in the still small voice, the whisper. When all the busyness of our lives: family, work, school, church rushes at us we need the wind to calm, to quiet down and our lives to be changed. And so it will be. On the last day of March, Easter Sunday we will meet the Lord who quietly and calmly speaks our name. Angels will tell us not to be afraid, not once but over and over. The story of our lives will come out at a place we did not expect: life triumphing over death; victory snatched out of the jaws of defeat; hope overcoming despair. No earthquake, but the firm ground of faith upon which we may stand. No raging windstorm, but the calm presence of a comforting Spirit. No consuming fire, but a soothing coolness of peace at the last.
Yes, Easter will come not because we set the date by a complicated formula (the first Sunday after the first full moon after the Spring equinox). Easter will come as it always comes: in God’s good time; when we need it more than anything; when in the midst of life’s turmoil we hear the soft Good News, “He is not here. He is risen as He said.” I need to hear that, how about you?
A blessed Easter to you all.