Ben and I have a huge white oak tree on our property that has died. We had someone come by this week to let us know how much it will cost to cut it down, leaving us (and I mean Ben) wood to be split for burning in our fireplace and then taking away the rest. It’s hard to admit it’s time to let it go. For three years we knew it was dying, but every spring we would see a few green leaves emerge and tell ourselves it wasn’t quite time...maybe it would make it. It’s finally time to surrender to the inevitable and let it go. When it is cut down I am looking forward to knowing just how old this tree really is.
Change of any kind is difficult. We hold onto the past way of doing things and try to convince ourselves that we don't need to change. We hope there is still a chance that a few green leaves will emerge. We tell ourselves that maybe, just maybe, if we keep doing the same thing we can force life from something that is past its time. But change is inevitable, seasons change, the sun rises and a new day begins full of possibilities.
I am waxing melancholy this day. Last Sunday, even as I shared a message about the death of my beloved father, I could see Amelia with her mom and dad, not yet two weeks old, full of possibilities. There was two year old Jack, roaring like a tyrannosaurus rex and six month old Dorothy, wrapped securely against her mom. There were two precious children handing out bulletins.
And I am thankful for the stout, strong church on the corner of Walnut & Jefferson that is aging so very well, still bringing forth new life, and is far from being ready to be cut down. I know this because it is made up of people willing to bend, change, and open themselves for the new thing God will do when the Holy Spirit is turned loose and Love leads. A new year of ministry at The Downtown Church begins for me today in the United Methodist Church calendar. I am looking forward to not just surviving but thriving together.
See you Sunday, online or in-person,