From Death to Resurrection

Holy.week.2

Welcome to Holy Week, Good Friday, and Easter Sunday. This is both the most despairing and the most joyful week of the Christian calendar.  We pray that you will participate in this season in a way that strengthens your faith and encourages you to participate more fully in God’s redemptive work in our world.

Death Has Come

Stan ThornburgOn Saturday Tom attended the memorial service for Stan Thornburg, a dear friend who has been a wonderful mentor to all of us in Mustard Seed Associates. Stan, a Quaker pastor, coached us in the use of the discernment process that has become such an integral part of who we are as an organization.

Stan has guided us over many years with his sensitive spirit and quiet, attentive wisdom. He has delighted us with his quirky sense of humour and touched us with his compassion for those at the margins. He will be greatly missed.

Reflecting on the service Tom said, “The three things that made this memorial service so memorable were:

  1. So many people commented that Stan had enabled them to listen more carefully to the Spirit of God in every part of their lives;
  2. How Stan was constantly making friends with those who are often outsiders to many of us Christians, from peoples of other faiths to those in the gay and lesbian community;
  3. How Stan made people laugh all the time.  In fact, I have never been in a memorial service with so much laughter as family and friends shared their memories of him.  Even if you didn’t know our good friend Stan, I would encourage you to click on this link to Newberg Friends Church and see why so many people loved Stan and loved to laugh with him.

As you can imagine Stan’s death has overshadowed Holy Week for us, making real the sting of death and the wonder of Christ’s redemptive work. It has led me to look for new music to focus our meditation and new prayers to reflect on. It has also heightened our awareness of the darkness and suffering in this world, of the pain so many endure, unaware of the hope that Christ offers.

This is reflected in the resources we have drawn together for Holy Week this year:

Out of Death Comes Life

While looking for resources for this season, I came across this beautiful ancient prayer by St. Hippolytus (AD 190-236)

Christ is Risen: The world below lies desolate
Christ is Risen: The spirits of evil are fallen
Christ is Risen: The angels of God are rejoicing
Christ is Risen: The tombs of the dead are empty
Christ is Risen indeed from the dead,
the first of the sleepers,
Glory and power are his forever and ever.

 

watering.canChrist is risen and with him our hope for renewal and restoration has expanded too. I am sure it is not an accident that Earth Day occurs straight after Easter this year. Celtic Christians once sprinkled their seeds with water three days before they planted them, if possible on a Friday. The emergence of new life from the soil was always a reminder of their hope in the resurrection.

For us here at Mustard Seed Associates new life is emerging too. On the MSA blog, Tom is posting again after a break of several months. He will work with intern Jon Plummer on a series of weekly videos entitled News from the Innovative Edge.

These interviews will highlight important research Tom is doing for a new book and will be supplemented with comments and additional posts by Jon. Creativity and innovation, imagination and social entrepreneurship all need to be encouraged for the future, and we want to help provide resources for your own explorations in these areas.

New Life, New Resource

In celebration of Earth Day and the important movement towards faith-based community gardens, we have published a new free downloadable guide, Creating a Faith-Based Community Garden. There are lots of good tools out there to assist our digging in the soil and most of us need help to find them. We hope you enjoy it and pass the link on to your friends.

The newness emerging around us is exciting. God is growing the seeds that have been planted over many years. We appreciate your continued prayers and support in making this happen.

Christ is Risen, Halleluiah!

Christine Sine
Executive Director MSA.