I saw the presence of God in a mother swallow this week

    A Message from Rev. Keith:

    Late Monday afternoon, after recording Sunday’s worship service at Wesley, I headed to our schoolhouse to do some gardening and stay overnight to meet a contractor in the morning. At dusk, as I was standing under the portico of the front entrance, I became aware of a swallow frantically flying around. It was then that I discovered a nest built on top of one of the pillars of our entrance, and the mother bird was obviously frantic about my presence and worried about what danger I would pose to her chicks (or perhaps eggs) in the nest. In the morning when I stepped out the door, I discovered that it was two swallows – mother and father – that were tending the nest, and both seemed in distress at my presence, flying here and there at high speeds, banking, and circling back in attempts to distract me from their home-base. I backed away, delighting in this encounter with life. 
    In that moment, I saw the God presence in those birds, anxious for the well-being of all God’s children, frantic at the threats to Muslim families, grieving the deaths of Indigenous children in residential schools, worried about Palestinians that are living under constant threats, worried about families who are at risk of COVID because of their work or living situation…. This Saturday is “Juneteenth” (short for “June nineteenth”), commemorating the day in history which marks the effective end of slavery in the United States.  God, like the mother swallow, wants freedom and safety, and fullness of life for all her children. To take this one step further, walking in the way of Christ means becoming a conduit for the God-energy, meaning we are part of making this dream a reality. 
    This weekend marks the Summer Solstice, and with it comes the National Indigenous Day of Prayer.  The United Church has traditionally referred to the Sunday before National Indigenous Peoples Day (June 21) as Aboriginal Sunday, celebrating the contributions of Indigenous Peoples. One of the contributions that we celebrate is the connection to the earth, recognizing the sacredness in each aspect of life, praying for Mother Earth, the waters, the winds, for our siblings the animals, birds, and fish, and all of life that surrounds us.  Our online worship this Sunday will move deeper into this connection, exploring the whole history of our cosmos and how the sacred God-energy has moved through each aspect of ongoing creation. 
    I saw the presence of God in a mother swallow this week.  Where has creation been speaking to you?  Let us open our eyes and listen intently for the sacredness of life that seeks to be made known.

    As always, if you or others you know are in need of pastoral care, please be in touch with me at (519-504-9880) or keithhagerman@gmail.com

    -- Rev. Keith Hagerman


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