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Autumn Foliage

Works of Art

Ok, we’ve gotten through the “first half” of Winter and we’re into the new year. But when you live in Northern Minnesota it’s more like only the first third. Let’s just say there’s a lot of Winter yet to come. While December was way colder than normal, we’ve been fortunate to have a relatively less freezing January than usual. Yet, Mother Nature has compensated by dumping on us a lot more snow than is our average amount! As of this writing – we are 31 inches ahead of an average winter up to this point.

Here's a truth about me: I kinda like Winter. Still, there are some days when I’ve had enough. Yet even in those times there are reminders of God’s blessings and God presence. God’s wonderful work as Our Creator is most beautifully displayed in snowflakes. They may pile up and cause lots of headaches – and backaches from shoveling – but each individual snowflake is a unique, glorious work of art. I’ve seen the pictures a million times, but I still find the close-up photographs of snowflakes to be absolutely breathtaking. And no two snowflakes are exactly alike.

If God pays such attention to the detail in each tiny flake of snow, how much more does God pay attention to each human created in the image of God’s own self? When my children were little we would take a magnifying glass on a snowy day and look at the ice crystals that formed on our window or go out and look at individual snowflakes and see for ourselves the unique design God had given each one. Then I’d have them think on how wonderfully and uniquely created each one of them were as well!

And let’s not lose the lesson about the body of Christ we find in the “piling up” of the snow: A single snow flake doesn’t make a lot of difference and can sometimes be overlooked. But when added to all their “partners” they can really make a difference!

The Church needs to collectively make Christ’s presence known in acts of mercy and deeds of Justice to declare and witness to the world the truth of the Gospel!

I was with some of our congregation’s kids not long ago and we were outside making snow angels. It was great ‘cause when we were finished there was the evidence of our activity there in the snowbank. They’re not called “snow jerks” or “snow creeps” or “snow wrong-doers”. They are snow angels. What evidence does our activity leave for others to see? We need to leave the evidence of the presence of God’s good news of grace and resurrection.

And then, finally, the beauty of a clear winter’s night with a full moon! Last week had such a night. It’s amazing and breathtaking how bright and how beautiful the landscape is! Just as the light of the moon is reflected off the snow, so are we to reflect the beauty of our Lord’s love to the community around us! Winter can sometimes seem to stretch on – but it is the season we are in. Let’s look for the promises, presence, blessings, and lessons God shares with us each day in the season we find ourselves!

Be God’s, Pastor Jim

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