Monday, March 1, 2010

The Gathering Bloom…

Some think of wedding registries as law, and I’m one of them. These people, perhaps creative elsewhere, feel no impulse of creativity when buying wedding gifts. We buy what’s on the registry and only what’s on the registry, unless someone else has bought that item, in which case we find something else…on the registry. Others, however, have a more liberated approach to the wedding gift process. Some use the registry items as ‘guides and suggestions’ rather than ‘the only items ordained by God which a wedding guest should ever purchase.’ Others forgo the registry altogether, relying solely on their judgment and knowledge of the couple. We received a few such gifts, and each was beautiful (if I tried that, I’d buy Broncos-themed Macaroni and Cheese Makers, so it’s best I stick to the registry).

One of the non-registry gifts from our wedding is especially noteworthy. It arrived a couple months late, but we didn’t know it was coming until, returning home one evening, we found a small box on our porch. Apparently, a family member had waited until the perfect time of year to send the gift. And good thing too. The box was alive!

Well, not the box, but the gift inside. We’d been given a flower bulb, potted and ready to grow, in need simply of water and sunlight. Again, it was unexpected, but we’ve enjoyed having this flower in our home the past few months. It’s been fun watering and waiting, moving it closer to the window, away from the window, watching as the first green shoots break the soil, and grow longer and thicker.

Just this past week, I’m happy to report, the bulb began to open. A flower emerges! Thus, a) I didn’t kill it, frustrating predictions of Vegas odds makers, and b) I’m finally seeing if the beauty within is as dynamic and profound as I’ve imagined these past months.

Do me a favor; reread that last sentence, starting at b). Thanks. Ready for a metaphor?

I say this gift is perfectly timed, because it’s almost Spring now, and already, blooming is beginning! Indeed, every Spring we have this earth-given opportunity to reflect on the power of new life, of transformation from within. Think about it. The bloom that emerges on my kitchen table received many external inputs- water, soil, sunlight- but I simply see something marvelous opening in front of me, acting like the bulb contained that spectacular display all along. The biological story is more complicated, of course. But the image is as simple as it is beautiful. New life, transformation, in this instance of God’s Creation, derives from those potentials and beauties within the flower, and all outside input gets applied to that goal.

Church works that way. That flower is my metaphor for Plymouth Creek. In the past weeks, we’ve seen some changes and shifts occur. The Worship Team has asked we embrace innovation and creativity, so we can more fully understand our 2010 theme (Go to All Peoples: Transforming Community with Disciples), and catch the vision of being a church who loves to worship together. The Mission-oriented folk asked us to adapt our mission strategy. Gone is the Mission-of-the-Month rubric; in its place is a familiar list of special offerings and a challenge to undertake one or two medium/long-term mission projects based on the power of community and relationship (decisions for that will be made on March 14 after church; please join in!). If you’ve participated in Board or Servant Leader conversations, you know the fresh ideas and emerging new forms of ‘doing church’ that our congregation is exploring and implementing.

And all that sounds like a blooming flower. I’ve seen so much beauty within this church already. And like many of you, I’ve imagined so much more that is possible. But it’s not all the stuff we could add to this church from the outside that’s makes me joyous, hopeful and elated. It’s the simple, profound, dynamic , generous, compassionate people and potentials within. And it’s a blast to watch you bloom.

Thanks for taking the risk to bloom, and show your beauty to your neighbors.

Grace and Peace,


No comments:

Post a Comment