“Commit to Healing: Loving the Dirt” by The Rev. Stephanie Kendell

October 3rd,2019 Categories: Stephanie Kendell Letters, Weekly Letter

Alexander Lake

Beloved Church,

I hope that this week has been one that has brought you hope. I know that after seeing the two new members join our church, I was filled with the hope of new life, new vision, and new fellowship. What a gift new members are to the Church. If you haven’t introduced yourself yet, please be sure to introduce yourself to them. Also, if membership or baptism has been on your heart please reach out to me or Pastor Kaji. We would love to have those conversations and be your pastors. As a reminder, this Sunday is World Communion Sunday. That means that we join with churches around the world in experiencing this tangible love of Christ. And while we have communion every Sunday, World Communion Sunday is always extra special. We hope that you will join us for this sacred time together. This week we are also excited to bring to the pulpit, The Rev. Dr. Jim Antal who will lead a conversation after worship.  We hope you will join us in this important conversation and a very special worship.

Our Scripture this week is from two books of the Bible. The first is Psalm 24.1, the second from 2 Cor. 3:1-6. Both, chosen by our preacher this week, have to do with legacy and who carries the baton of God’s love for everything God created. Let’s read together these two pieces of scripture.

Psalm 24:1
“1 The earth and everything on it—
the world and all who live in it—
belong to God.”

2 Cor. 3:1-6
“3:1 Am I beginning to brag again? Or do I need letters of recommendation to you or from you, as others might? 2 You are my letter, known and read by all, written on your hearts. 3 Clearly you are a letter of Christ which I have delivered, a letter written not with ink, but with the spirit of the living God; not on tablets of stone, but on tablets of flesh in the heart.

The great confidence we have before God, we have because of Christ. 5 It is not that we are entitled of ourselves to take credit for anything. Our sole credit is from God, 6 who made us qualified ministers of a new Covenant, a covenant not of a written Law but of spirit. The written Law kills, but the spirit gives life.”

A few weeks ago, I went to Alexander Lake in Connecticut for a prayerful retreat away from the city. Alexander Lake is beautiful. It feeds from a fresh spring and the water is crystal clear. While I was there I read, I laughed, I took deep breaths, and I swam. All of those things are healing for me. On one of my swims another swimmer came near and kicked up all the dirt and sand on the bottom of the lake. When I got out of the lake, I was covered in the lake bottom dirt so I went into the house to change. Before I got to the house I looked out to the lake from where I just exited, footprints in the sand still visible, I noticed a school of fish swimming in the mud. They were feeding and growing in the place that I had left because it no longer felt right for me.

When I got home the next day, I put my swimsuit in the wash and notices that it still carried the dirt of the day before. Dirt that made me remember the healing waters for me. Dirt that fed and was life for others.

Friends, so often we think of the dirt as something to clean and wipe away. But when we are truthful in our faith, we remember that the dirt is part of the legacy of God’s creation entrusted to us. The dirt is one that holds us steady as we walk across the earth. The dirt nourishes the plants and the creatures who feed from them. The dirt is what catches our tears of joy, and our blood of persecution. It can catch the sweat of our hard work and also remove the toxins from our bodies- our souls. The dirt is of us, not on us. The dirt is of God not to be overlooked by God’s creation. From Dust to Dust friends.

Shalom Y’all,
Rev. Stephanie

A quick prayer for your week: God, from dust I am, to dust I shall be. With you. Amen