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A tomato vine in a kitchen, with green tomatoes on the vine

Faith through Life and Death – St. Nick’s News Mar 14, 2024

Full St. Nick’s News for March 14, 2024

Dear Friends,

I don’t know about you, but I am getting excited about Holy Week and Easter!

During Holy Week we walk with Jesus towards the cross and on Easter we commemorate the central act of Christianity – the Resurrection of Jesus.

In this week’s Gospel we hear Jesus say (John 12:24-25) “Very truly, I tell you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains just a single grain; but if it dies, it bears much fruit. Those who love their life lose it, and those who hate their life in this world will keep it for eternal life.” We are being prepared to walk with Jesus in his trial, crucifixion, and death. We are also being prepared to welcome the new life that comes after – the resurrection, life eternal, abundant love made known because a seed (God’s Love in the Person of Christ Jesus) has been planted and new fruit and flowers spring forth.

I love this little parable that reminds us to trust in the process of life and death. It calls us to trust that even though things are dying or ending, God can bring new life from the old. God can transform our lives. In this passage and entering into Holy Week, we are being invited to change and to trust God’s work in our lives through the love of Jesus.

In our kitchen we have a small hydroponic system. We (Jeremy and I) have been able to grow herbs and have just now tried cherry tomatoes. It has been fascinating to watch the flowers turn into a small tomato. It feels like we are watching a miracle as the plant is transformed right in front of our eyes. Watching a flower turn to a fruit (or vegetable) is awe inspiring. It has moved me to pray that God will imprint this image in my brain and on my heart so that I can trust in the power of transformation the next time I am faced with a challenge, death, or change in life that stretches me to bear good fruit for others.

This is also timely in that this week is the start of my Seeds Project Fellowship through Faith+Lead. Faith+Lead is an “ecosystem of theological resources and training designed to equip Christian disciples and leaders to follow God into a faithful future.” You can learn more about them Here. I have been selected as one of their fellows in their Seeds Project. The Seeds Project is a fellowship for leaders who want to innovate, are eager to grow and be creative as they passionately share the Gospel with an ever changing world. You can read more about the Seeds Project here.

One of the things I appreciate about this program is the emphasis on trusting the Holy Spirit’s guidance and leaning into our Christian traditions of scripture reading, listening, and praying. I am looking forward to letting new ideas germinate and take root in my life of faith. This will, no doubt, change me and us at St. Nick’s.

Faith is dynamic. It is not meant to be static. Growing in faith, changing our ideas, having new experiences, and being open to the Holy Spirit in our lives is a scary but exhilarating way to live.

I pray this Holy Week you try something new. Come to a worship service that may challenge you and trust in the experience of God to be found. Our faith is a gift from God and God’s spirit is always working on us – planting, cultivating, and nurturing our lives so we may bear good fruit.

God’s Peace, Love, and Blessings,