North Highland United Methodist Church
Friday, February 26, 2021
Open Hearts, Open Minds, Open Doors


Renew   By the beginning of February, I was growing more and more concerned about my now-almost-a–tree ficus plant because daily over a couple of months a dozen or more yellow leaves surrounded the pot. You see, this is a special plant.
I received it upon arriving at my first appointment in Kimball—mailed it to me wrapped up in a cardboard tube as a surprise for my first day in the office. That friend passed away two years ago, but her plant has been a daily reminder of her love and friendship. I was afraid that after readjusting to two parsonages and succeeding larger pots, it was now on its way out. I started to give the plant a little more attention— some special food, turned it closer to the little bit of daily winter sunlight, and even talked to it a bit! Recently I was excited to see all sorts of evidence of new leaves beginning to sprout, giving me hope that my special plant was actually in a process of renewal, not death.
During Lent sermons have had the theme Renew. The Lenten Lunches during which we are looking at the stories of Spirituals have had as the basic theme Romans 12:2: Don’t be conformed to the patterns of this world, but be transformed by that renewing of your minds so that you can figure out what God’s will is—what is good and pleasing and mature.
With all of the struggles of life with times of stress, grief, and confusion we might feel a little like my ficus plant—doing the human equivalent of dropping leaves and seeming a bit stagnant in our spiritual growth. There are times when we are truly out of sorts and not ourselves, and then we are advised to seek professional advice. But if it is a bit of change-of-season or life blahs, we have the ability to make some changes to bring about renewal. A change of routine, time with friends, finding moments or a day of quiet, seeking a new devotional reading, and a new prayer routine are all ways that might bring about a sense of renewal.
The greatest story of renewal and transformation is what we celebrate on Easter—Jesus’ resurrection from the darkness
of a tomb to full and new life. That same renewal
and transformation is offered to us through the
grace that is offered to us daily. Renewed living or
being saved is a is a life long process—a daily part of our spiritual life
and journey. What a gift it is to have the opportunity for renewal each and every moment of our life! 
Peace and blessings,
Pastor Lou

March 2018