A New Heart and a New Spirit

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Dear Friends,

In the 9:40 am service in the Leonard Memorial Chapel and at the 11:00 am service in the sanctuary, we will continue to consider what resurrection means—not just in the distant past, but in the lives of people today.  There is newness of life all around us:
evidenced not only in the Spring, but in the hope that springs forth from the direst circumstances;
evidenced not only in the budding of a tree, but in the budding of a new perspective, a new way of seeing;
evidenced not only in the opening of a flower, but in the opening of a life to God and to new life as a follower of Jesus.

But sometimes our hearts can become hardened by a barrage of bad news and calcified by cynicism. Sometimes we take for granted the wonderful transformations taking place around us and within us. Sometimes our vision is blurred to such an extent that we cannot see the miracles that occur all the time.

These words written 1400 years ago by Gregory the Great speak as freshly today as they did then:

“Those things which are full of marvels for an investigation deeper than we can reach have become cheap from custom in the eyes of men….if a dead man is raised to life, all men spring up in astonishment. Yet every day one that had no being is born, and no man wonders, though it is plain to all, without doubt, that it is a greater thing for that to be created which was without being than for that which had being to be restored. Because the dry rod of Aaron budded [Numbers 17:1-11], all men were in astonishment; every day a tree is produced from the dry earth, … and no man wonders … Five thousand men were filled with five loaves; … every day the grains of seed that are sown are multiplied in a fullness of ears, and no man wonders. All … wondered to see water once turned into wine. Every day the earth’s moisture, being drawn into the root of the vine, is turned by the grape into wine, and no man wonders. Full of wonder then are all the things which men never think to wonder at, because … they are by habit become dull to the consideration of them.”

—[St. Gregory the Great, Morals on the Book of Job (Oxford: John Henry Parker, 184*, 32424 (vi:18)]

I look forward to worshipping with you Sunday as we seek to wonder once again at the power of God to create and recreate, to make and to make new.

Grace and Peace,

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