Saturday, March 18, 2017

Third Sunday of Lent

Third Sunday of Lent Reflection

by Gerard Miller

“I've known rivers:
I've known rivers ancient as the world and older than the
    flow of human blood in human veins.

My soul has grown deep like the rivers.”

~ Langston Hughes

My grandfather is from a small coastal NC town that hugs an inlet of the Albemarle Sound. My grandmother's family is from another NC township named after the Sandy Creek that it was built next to. As a native of Maryland, I've been taught that the Chesapeake Bay is life and breath that must be cherished. When I went away to camp as a kid, it was to a small church-run place along the James River in VA. The chapel was a bower of rough-hewn tree limbs with rows of wooden benches, a driftwood pulpit, sandy floor in a clearing of pine trees looking out over the water. There, at Camp Lightfoot, we were told explicitly that we are able to see and connect with God's power through honoring nature. And it starts down by the riverside.

Throughout my life, I've understood the power of living water. We see it in Jonah’s adventures at sea, in Moses’ timely miracles during the Exodus, in Elisha being sustained by the Brook of Cherith, in the healing of Namon, in Christ's own baptism, and in the gospel story of the man at Bethesda. Water has the power to cool our burning bodies, soothe our thirst, feed us with aquatic plants and animals, support our crops, cleanse us, and provide comfort.
Through the recognition of and care for nature, we contact Spirit and are able to participate in creation. Water is and was at the beginning, and is the primary symbol of God's mercy and grace. Coming into relationship with the living waters around us allows us to deepen our relationship with the Divine.

Prayer: Let the words of my mouth, the meditations of my heart, be accepted in thy sight, O Lord, my strength and my redeemer. Guide my steps, and let the works of my hands honor your work of Creation and your sustaining Grace. Continue to work in and through me for my Ancestors’ sake. Amen & Asé

Gerard Miller is a native of Baltimore City with roots in rural Maryland and the Carolinas. Gerard was raised in the Pentecostal Holiness tradition, and was given a keen understanding and appreciation for tradition and scripture. After studying Modern Languages and Linguistics at the University of Maryland Baltimore County (UMBC), Gerard joined PEC’s Eco-Stewards program in Montana during the summer of 2011. Working with farmer Dave Graber and alongside fellow Eco-Steward David Grace, Gerard deepened his understanding of the pastoral and agrarian symbology throughout the Bible, and built lasting connections in the local Apsaalooke community. He currently works as a housing counselor in Brooklyn, NY while studying and practicing herbalism, foraging, and urban gardening.

No comments:

Post a Comment