A Diaphanous Scrim of Wing

posted Nov 18, 2022, 6:19 AM by Tricia Sheffield

Dear Middletown Reformed Church Family and Friends,


Grace and peace to you as we enter the last Sunday in the liturgical year.


Beloved MRC member, are you paying attention?


A few weeks ago I was sitting out back feeding the squirrels. Back and forth they came to get the goodness of peanuts. After a while, they went away, so I reached over and picked up my phone to mindlessly scroll. As I did I heard a whoosh, and looked up in time to see our local red-tailed hawk come flying in next to the bird feeder, her wings extended in all their glory. And as quickly as she had come, she was off soaring into the heavens. This all happened about ten feet from me. I sat back in my chair, heart pounding, and muttered a feeble, “Oh.” That’s all I could manage to say for the next five minutes.


Rachel Held Evans wrote, “The Spirit is like a bird, fragile alloy of heaven and earth, where wind and feather and flight meet breath and blood and bones. The rabbis imagined her as a pigeon, the Celts a wild goose. Like a dove, she glided over the primordial waters, hovered above Mary’s womb, and descended onto Jesus’ dripping wet head. She protected Israel like an eagle, and like a hen, brooded over her chicks. ‘Hide me in the shadow of your wings,’ the poet king wrote. ‘Because you are my help, I sing to the shadow of your wings’ (Psalm 17.8, 63.7). The Spirit is as common as a cooing pigeon and transcendent as a high-flying eagle. So look up and sing back, catch the light of God in a diaphanous scrim of wing. Pay attention.”


Had I chosen to bury my face in my phone, I might have missed the hawk’s arrival —we’ve named her Artemis — and the gift of seeing such a majestic creature of God in her hunt and flight. I’m glad the Spirit prodded me that day to pay attention.


Come to church in person or on Facebook live this Reign of Christ Sunday, the end of the liturgical year. Tom Martucci will be leading us in music and song as we worship God. I am preaching from Jeremiah 23.1-6 and Luke 23.33-43 and my sermon title is A King Between Two Criminals. In addition, we have the joy of welcoming into the Church Universal through the Sacrament of Baptism Peyton Carol Williamson. 


A gentle reminder: as this is flu season and Covid still lingers among us, if you are not feeling well, please stay home and watch church online. This is for the good of you and for the safety of others. Thank you for your cooperation.


It’s going to be a glorious Sunday as the Spirit moves among us. So, let’s pay attention.



In gratitude for the privilege of being your pastor and the holy call of loving you,

Pastor Trish



Here is the link to our Stewardship Sunday worship:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hLorX8uVjaQ&t=14s


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