Another season of God is arriving. There is a perceptible tingling down my forearms and down the lower half of my spine – as if life is starting the motor once more time. In my spirit I feel pleasantly restless – as if a call is cooking, a call to move forward into the unknown. I know this feeling, this unsung song from the high places. God is up to something again.
I reach up in my heart and feel the joy inside cascading like a fountain, like a spray of fireworks on July 4th. Water and fire, spirit cascading.
So, what is up, what is the question these answers are for?
In a couple of weeks I’m going to be performing a wedding for old friends of mine. I had teased them about it for a while – but now they were moving ahead into the decision and its fruits. They’ve picked Champoeg Park, close to Wilsonville, for the ceremony. It’s at the pavilion there where my son and daughter-in-law tied the knot and below the tumbling water of the river symbolizing the dance of time.
New life is sparking in me, a growth of that which broke a little last year when I had my heart attacks and surgery. I feel stronger inside, as if the muscles are reconstituting and blood is reddening. So, what is my mission going forward?
Today I was at Our Savior’s in Salem, meeting with the small group of other pastors that make up my denomination in my area. We were discussing ways in which we can preach more loudly, proclaim the gospel more vigorously and invite more people into the arms of love of our Lord.
I am thinking of a friend of mine, Matthew, a man who is called by God. He was an electrician in Modesto, California, with his own business and was one day called into service by Jesus. He sold his business and bought a fine bicycle and is now cycling around the United States visiting little home churches, small congregations and individuals. He is an evangelist. He came to visit me when I had an advertisement for a little home church that I had started in my dwelling, and my friend, Pastor Rock, who also had a home church and also preached at the men’s prison in Salem. Rock had been a pastor for a larger church, but when his wife took off with another man, his Pentecostal church required him to step down from his pulpit and stay away.
So Rock continued in his own way, in prisons, with neighbors who need the Word, with anyone who thirsted after the living water of faith – obeying God’s call exactly, even if the rules of his own church sent him away. I understand recently that his wife came back to him seeking forgiveness and there is a healing taking place. His daughter and her young man are staying with him, close to the fire that burns in his heart for God. Goodness is bright and warm.
God is all seasons, and now we move into the bright season of promise that is Spring, when new life appears, breaking forth from the seed and flying up into the heart to break out in buds and blossoms.
I pray for all of us that we can hear the music of Christ’s springtime, and end our long somnolence by entering his holy adventure, resting in the peace that surpasses all understanding and takes us into his purpose for our creation. May we know – as we are known by him!
Colin Brown is the former pastor of Good Shepherd Lutheran Church in Boardman.