The Path to Raw Beauty

posted Nov 27, 2020, 11:09 AM by Tricia Sheffield

Dear Middletown Reformed Church Family and Friends,


The grace and peace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you. I hope you had a happy and peaceful Thanksgiving.


As I was walking back up the hill from getting the mail on Wednesday, something stirred in me to walk the Meditation Garden path. It was a typical autumn day with the woodsy, musk y smell that permeates the forest during the fall. As I looked up at the bare trees, I noted that “stick season” had certainly arrived.


Or had it? 


As I entered the path, I caught my breath. There, amidst all the gray-brown of decaying wood and fallen leaves were several small maple trees, resplendent in their red fury, still singing the song of autumn. Their beauty was enough to stop me in my tracks and linger along the edge of the forest for a while, taking in the various colors with the sun filtering through the bigger trees. I had been so focused on the “sticks” on the skyline, I had failed to notice that a few last bits of life w ere still humming right in front of me. The vision was one of raw, untamed beauty, and I was grateful to God for leading me to the path — a path I pass by so often and rarely walk upon — and bestowing upon me the gift of God’s holy creation. 


What gift from our holy creation have you been given lately? Where have you noticed the wild beauty of nature? Has it been too long that you’ve taken the time to look for it? Perhaps God will take you down a path you’ve rarely traveled , but often pass , to show you what your soul has been longing for and needs. I pray you will find that path where God is waiting for you.


I look forward to welcoming you to worship on this First Sunday of Advent when we will gather online at 10:15 AM to chat with one another, and then worship together at 10:30 AM on Zoom or on our YouTube channel. As always, our music is sure to bless your soul. Our Prelude is “Come, Thou Long Expected Jesus” Judith Daugherty, organ; our Interlude is “Come to Us, O God” Nancy Coffin, soloist; and our anthem is “The Longing” Jamie Zeller, soloist. Dolores and Bob Hofmann will light the Advent candle from their home. This Sunday begins our Advent sermon series Longing for More written by Lisa Vanderkamp. I will be preaching from Isaiah 40.1-8 and my sermon title is We Want. And then, at 4:15 PM we will have our Christmas tree lighting on the Great Lawn of the church! Please bring an ornament from home to hang on the tree. We ask that you wear a mask and practice social distancing. Beloved, we may not be able to gather together in the church, but our families can symbolically be together on the tree.


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


Pastor Trish

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