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The Rev. Rosa Lindahl

April 4, 2024

Change & Sabbath


Two bits have come together to shape my message for you today.


The first is a wry observation a friend of mine made many years ago after Christmas. She was worn out and said, “we should only celebrate Christmas in Year C of the Common Lectionary, when we read from the Gospel of Luke that tells the story of Christ’s birth. The way we do Christmas wears us all out and just makes us glad when it is over. Maybe doing it less frequently would allow us to ponder the mystery of that night in a deeper, more meaningful way.”


The second comes from my work on Easter Monday. It was spring cleaning day for the chicken girls and the coop. I shoveled out about 65 cubic feet of the litter I had put down in the coop last fall. The work is rather nasty, but my Spouseman got awesome material that will make fine compost for his garden. As I shoveled, I remembered how sweet the pine shavings I use smelled when it was fresh in October. When I let the chickens back into the coop after my twice a year cleaning, they have this slightly dazzled look on their faces. Along with getting all the litter out and putting new clean litter and some lovely herb and flower petals on the top of the shavings, I dust and scrub the walls and the roosts and the nesting condo. Truly, it looks resplendent. After six months? Not so much.

Holy Week and the Sunday of the Resurrection were simply wonderful. The pieces all connected well with each other. I was thankful for our attendance. Bits and pieces of confetti and eggshell this morning were a reminder of the playfulness of cascarones. I also realized that along with all of the dedication, beauty, attention to detail, and love with which so many prepared for these

days, many of those folks were the same ones who have done the work every year I have been here. Like the chausubles and stoles in the vesting room, they and I surely felt a little tattered when it was all over.


In no way is this intended as a criticism. Rather, I believe this is the way of most work in life and there is beauty even in the willingness to keep going, keep upholding traditions and practices year after year. That said, times change, and our lives get crowded with more commitments and responsibilities. I am keenly aware that after the pandemic, most of what we do takes more energy than it took in the past. We are also a different congregation in many respects. We will continue to evolve as we welcome new members to our parish and say farewell to others.


I’m  going to ask a relatively small and representative group this summer to help me revisit our traditions and ways of observing both Easter and Christmas. The intent is not to dismantle all that we cherish and hold dear. Rather, we will stop and ask, “what is essential? What goes to the heart of our community’s traditions and that we still have the resources necessary for the preparations to be joyful? How are we different now than we were before and what might we do differently to better reflect who we are today.” After that conversation we may decide that nothing needs to change. We may agree that our worship is as resplendent and meaningful as ever. We may also decide some tweaks and adjustments are in order. That will become clear when we have had the conversation.


I am not willing, like my friend, to say we should only observe our high holy days every few years. I do want to take care of the people who work so hard to ensure our worship is beautiful and uplifting. And I want anybody and everybody who comes to worship with us to walk out of the church deeply grateful for an uplifting and renewing service that was obviously prepared with such love and care, that it allowed them to draw closer to the God of love.


I will update you as the process of examination and reflection takes more shape. If you'd like to be a part of the conversation, see me. Rest assured that we will not throw the baby out with the bathwater. We will continue to blend the old and the new in ways that allow our worship to shine with life and grace!


With prayers for blessings to new life, new hope, new joy, Rosa+

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