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Yesterday I Sat and Watched the Snow Fall – 3 before Lent

February 4, 2012

Yesterday I sat and watched the snow fall. The way the flurries grouped and separated in the air was hypnotic. It was almost like flocks of tiny white birds or insects in flight. The the ground was dusted with white like icing sugar. Then I watched the birds squabbling over the food I had left for them, and making first footfall in the new white carpet.

I was supposed to be finishing a report to send to the European Commission, then I was supposed to be preparing for this sermon. But, still my eyes were drawn to the drama outside of my window, a drama that looked so peaceful and English, at least from the warm safety of my room. For a while my work lost out to my wonder. To the beauty and the vibrancy of nature.

I looked at the huge white sky and felt very small and insignificant. And I pondered my own fragility and impermanence. I remembered that in the week before the life of a fellow biker from not so far away had been snuffed out by a lorry. And, the week before that a local priest had died only a month after being diagnosed with cancer. I felt so small and insignificant compared to the vastness and timelessnes of my Creator.

There is so much to see and learn and to do. But, even if I see and do and learn all that I can; I will still only have made a microscopic scratch on the surface of all knowledge.

Then, finally, I dragged myself back. I finished my report and sent it off! Phew! And had a coffee.

Then, I sat down to my sermon again. Again looked out of the window…. and got lost in wonder again …… and that was nearly all I had ready to say to you this morning!

But thankfully my eyes were drawn to the Old Testament reading for this morning and my perception changed. I still knew myself to be infinitesimally small, but I was also part of it all. Linked with people throughout the ages, past and future, drawn to wonder: Linked to all people of faith and more even than that one with the Creator of all.

Have you not known? Have you not heard? Has it not been told you from the beginning? Have you not understood from the foundations of the earth? It is [the Lord] who sits above the circle of the earth, and its inhabitants are like grasshoppers; who stretches out the heavens like a curtain, and spreads them like a tent to live in.

I smiled and looked out of the window again, and looked at the creation, vibrant with the life of its creator. I looked at myself, my wife and daughter; and saw that same vibrant life. I look out at you and see the same.

You and I are part of that one great creation. We are part, notes perhaps, in the great song of creation, sung continually by the Creator. I look at you, children of the creator, and see the beauty and wisdom of the Creator. But that vision of beauty and rightness and hope fades so fast, like snow when the sun comes out. I grow weary of caring for people and planet.

But that reading from Isaiah has more to say:

Have you not known? Have you not heard? The LORD is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He does not faint or grow weary; his understanding is unsearchable. He gives power to the faint, and strengthens the powerless.

The is so much to do, so much to care for, to learn, to protect, to love. But thankfully you and I don’t need to rely on our limited resources of intelligence and strength: You and I have the Son of the Creator as our friend and guide: You and I have the Spirit of the Creator living within us, reminding us, if we let him that we are one with all.

Thinking that I returned to looking our of my window, to the snow and the birds. I watched the seagulls swoop and turn in the swirling white air, and I was lost again in the wonder of it all.

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