The Need for Beauty

posted Apr 17, 2020, 9:45 AM by Tricia Sheffield


Grace and peace to you in this season of Easter.


It has been thirty-seven days since my last in person meeting. It’s been five weeks since we gathered together in the sanctuary. 


After the first couple of weeks, with all of the flurry and frenzy of phone calls, texts, emails, check-ins, and getting our Zoom meetings functioning, it occurred to me the other day that I’ve fallen into a rhythm in this new “normal” of ours. Like many people who are staying at home as a means of loving our neighbor, I’ve used the time to do projects around the house that I have been putting off, or read a book that’s been sitting on my side table for months. I’ve even started a jigsaw puzzle. I haven’t done that in years!


But what has been needed the most in this stay at home order, as the days have turned into weeks and now a month (most likely more), are my walks. Surely, this is nothing new. I walked a lot before as a means to care for my spiritual, emotional, and physical health. Yet now when I walk, I’m taking the time to record on a daily basis the unfolding beauty around me. Though the specter of disease and death hovers around us, I’m clinging to the now-and-not-yet hope I have found in the blossoming of bushes, trees and wildflowers with their delicate, bursting-with-splendor petals. Surely, I have admired the new life of spring before, but in these times, I feel an urgency to linger and drink in creation even more. 


Because I need new life; I need to have death defeated; I need the colors of resurrection. 


Come this Sunday online at 10:15 AM to witness another form of beauty amidst these uncertain and painful times — the gathering of God’s beloved community called Middletown Reformed Church. Deborah Shields will be singing “Phoenix Rising” for our anthem, and Seminarian and Elder Mark Poyner will be our guest preacher. He is preaching from John 20.19-31 and his sermon title is No Doubt There is Hope. If you need the Zoom link to this Sunday's worship, please email sheffield.tricia@gmail.com and I will send it to you.


Beloved, in these times, I am bearing witness to beauty and thanking God for these signs of hope. I pray that whatever the Spirit is whispering that you need, you will most certainly find it, and will rejoice in it.


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


Pastor Trish

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