Happy Easter! The season of Alleluia returns, and our prayers can finally sing with the coming of spring. Here in Northern Michigan we are just starting to feel the warmth. The last thin layers of ice on the bay have thawed, and there is even a little green poking through the grays and browns of winter’s remains.
The weather of the world is even starting to feel a little different. And the Rule of Benedict makes some allowances for the turn of seasons with adjustments to food, wine, and time. Even the times of prayers shift with the seasons.
We are not mechanical, and our time is not mechanized, though it often feels that way with the watches and phones of our common life. We are so often driven by calendars and times that are set with no regard for the organic nature of life. It is easy to forget that we are cyclical and seasonal beings by design.
God made us to live on the earth, which makes sense as caretakers and keepers of Creation called to bear God’s image and love in the world. We are set to live in synchronicity with the seasons and changes of the natural world. Benedict could recognize that fifteen centuries ago, and so can we.
Often we think of faith in these mechanized ways that come with the setting of our religious clocks and calendars and letting them run on and on without regard for the natural flux and flow of life. Our faith becomes another modern deafness to the world we are called to live in and love.
One way to claim these days of glory is to let our lives get grounded again in the natural rhythms of nature, turning down lights after sunset and avoiding the florescence we rely on in the days of darkness. Get outside or let the outside world in with open windows and doors.
Another important piece is our language. Pray the natural world. Our Book of Common Prayer is filled with natural images and prayers soaked in the natural world. Let that language inform your personal prayers. Glorify God for the natural world, giving care and attention to the land and rivers and rocks and trees, for the changes in seasons, and for the light, which I always take for granted (to say the least) after decades in the desert glare.
O Creator of the earth and skies, we your stewards and keepers of the world and word give you thanks for the changes of seasons and the coming of the light. Remind us always of the true light of your Son Jesus Christ our Lord, who breathed his Spirit into us at his resurrection to continue the healing and redeeming of your world. Give us such a love for your creation and your creatures that we may see your love’s dominion in our world and may love your children with pure devotion and leave our children with a world more full of life, light, and grace until that day when your dominion is whole and heaven and earth made whole, through your Son Jesus Christ our Risen Lord, who with you and the Holy Spirit are one God, now and always. Amen.