North Highland United Methodist Church
Wednesday, June 19, 2019
Open Hearts, Open Minds, Open Doors


                                                Earth Day was this past month—a day when we are
re minded of the importance of caring for the one and only planet on which we have to live. Scripture calls us to be good stewards of all of creation, and thus we do well to be mindful of how our living and our choices affect God’s creation. In recent years, many people are in the business of up-cycling—repurposing items into something new, useful, and wonderful. The “church word” we can use for this process is transformation. Transformation is a process by which we grow closer to living in the likeness of, and in the ways of Christ. It is never a quick or an instantaneous event, and may not be particularly easy as we become aware of our human tendencies and follies of heart, and work to become more compassionate, gentle, and generous people. John Wesley called this “going on to perfection”.
Had I know all that would unfold in recent days, I likely would not have used last month’s newsletter article to share a reflection about my grandfather. So I ask you to please allow me one more personal family-related reflection, brought to light by the recent passing of my father, who completed his earthly journey at the age of 95. My dad was always quite innovative, and good with building, creating, and fixing. He built our childhood home from the ground up, doing all of the carpentry, electrical, and plumbing himself. One day when retired, he was looking at what was left of my grandfather’s barn. He dragged home some of the pieces of wood, and build a pie safe style cupboard. Then, he hauled home some windows, and created a cabinet out of them. Before long, he was kind of in the business of re-making that falling down, saggy-roofed barn into pie safes, planters, and cabinets. Some were adorned with reclaimed door knobs and hinges. Most of the items were rough, and would be classified as primitives. My pie safe still has a bit of the original red paint on it. Every time I see that paint, I get an image of that barn when it was useful and upright—and it is a precious memory.
In unexpected ways, Grandpa’s little old barn now graces many kitchens, decks, and yards. That is what transformation does—it recreates and renews us. We too, as new creations in Christ, are up-cycled! We are relevant, useful, and wonderful. It is the message of Easter—a surprising story of new life that still speaks to us nearly 2,000 years later. Each of you can likely think of a story that also reminds you of transformation and new life. Share it! We are Easter people! May we live as Easter people—hopeful and forward-thinking, always aware that God is not finished, and God sees more than our
I thank you for your kind words, thoughts and prayers this past week. It has been greatly appreciated. In the midst of death, we celebrate the promise of life!
Peace and blessings,
Pastor Lou