When Creation Plays

posted Jan 4, 2019, 3:05 PM by Tricia Sheffield   [ updated Jan 4, 2019, 3:10 PM ]

Greetings of peace to you on this eleventh day of Christmas! I hope your New Year was filled with joy.

I came back from vacation on January 2, and I was so grateful to have some time to be still and get recharged for the ministry that God has called me to at MRC. A special note of gratitude to the Consistory for granting me this time of rest and rejuvenation. 

For me, taking the time to slow down helps to appreciate unexpected wonders. I’m pretty certain these moments would have been missed in the humming of ordinary time. This was certainly the case on Thursday afternoon.

I was reading in preparation for my sermon in the living room. Something, or perhaps someone, made me get up and look out the window. What I saw stunned me, although it really shouldn’t by now. There on the lawn in front of the Education Building stood fifteen deer — does, fawns (really teenagers at this point), and a few bucks. It was a bit intimidating to see so many gathered at the same time. It seemed like a deer invasion! But, my thoughts of trepidation soon changed to surprise. Suddenly, Eliza, late-born in September, and the littlest fawn in the forest, began to leap about, pronking, and then started to run at full steam all around the yard. She went around and around, up the little hill, down the little hill, as if on a race track. Pretty soon, other fawns, and a few does, joined in her merry-making, running with her and leaping about. I watched them in amazement, giggling at their antics. Some other deer watched calmly, almost absent-mindedly, as they chewed their cud. And then as quickly as it started, they stopped playing, calmed down, and slowly made their way over to Coventry House, looking for corn.

What a gift it was to see God’s creation at play. And not only that, but knowing the deer felt safe and loved enough for them to engage in such play gave me great contentment. 

Oh, I thought, that the Church Universal could be this way for all people — that they are welcomed, loved, affirmed, and celebrated so much that people feel church is a place for reverential play and joy. For certainly, Christ welcomed and continues to welcome all, inviting us to celebrate in gratitude, knowing we are safe and loved by God more than we could ask or imagine. I am so thankful that MRC is just such a place of joy and welcome for God’s beloved people. Because of your faithful witness to do justice, love mercy, and walk humbly with God (Micah 6.8), many in our community know that eternal and Divine truth.  

What a gift it is to see you sharing your light in the world as a witness to Christ’s life and ministry.

As the herd made their way over to the house, I called and welcomed them over, pouring out big bowls of corn for them all, and thanking each one for reminding me of the beauty of when creation plays. May we also be reminded to play as God’s created ones as we worship the Lord.

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

Pastor Trish