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The Congregational Church of West Medford is now doing business as Sanctuary UCC.

Another Explosion: Joy to the World

Praise the Lord! Praise the Lord from the heavens; praise God in the heights!
Praise God, all you angels of God; praise God, all you host of heaven!
Praise God, you sun and moon; praise God, all you shining stars!
Praise God, you highest heavens, and you waters above the heavens! –Psalm 148:1-4

Cherry_Blossom_by_HappilyInsaneDear Ones,

Have you been aware of the power of the natural world to keep on coming this week—and to change everything? Despite our angst and fears and grief, despite the politics and aftermath of the Boston Marathon Bombings, despite the confusion that sits in our hearts as a result of all that happened these last two weeks—spring has exploded all over us and you cannot help but be impressed. More importantly, if you allow yourself to see it you cannot help but be moved to praise.

A couple of days ago I was driving to Davis Square and was literally blow-away by my first spring cruise down Boston Avenue. I could not help but be delighted by the puffy, fluffy, held-in-a-pillow-like feeling I had from being enveloped in the tunnel of blossoms that “held” me from both sides of the street. The previous Monday I had made that very same drive, for the very same reason (to pick up my son from the T station). But the week before there were no flowers on the trees and I was headed there with fear and tension after he had called from the corner of Boylston and Dartmouth to tell me that bombs had exploded at the finish line of the Marathon. Getting my hands on that kid was my destination and I don’t think I saw anything on that ride but the shape of his torso when I pulled into that Somerville square. This time, my head was drawn up—up to the glory of those exploding buds and my heart was calmed by them and full of praise for the beauty of God’s amazing Creation.

Beloved, God’s Glory is all around this week: for me it has been the fascinating discoveries of that which is alive in the gardens of the parsonage, the magnolias and cherry blossoms dancing in the sun all over West Medford, the tulips and daffodils and greening every where I turn. It causes a body to want to sing! And here is the song that is on my lips: “Joy to the world! The Lord is come… and heaven and nature sing, and heaven and nature sing, and heaven and heaven and nature sing.”

I know, I know…you ask, “Isn’t that a Christmas Carol?” “And what does that have to do with spring?” But “Joy to the World” is not only a Christmas Carol. It is a song of great praise. And it reflects the inclusive praise encouraged by the poet of Psalm 148. The whole world should praise God whether in the heavenly or earthly sphere, whether in the deeps or the land or the air. Whatever the creature, whatever station a human found in life, it mattered nothing for all creation should offer praise. Age, gender, power are pushed aside when we stand before God and acknowledge God’s goodness.

It kind of makes you wonder…If all are to praise then might we not conclude that the praise of all is acceptable to God and something God desires?

With blessing and prayers for transformation & resurrection—
in you and in our church’s ministry!
Rev. Wendy Miller Olapade


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