50 — a sermon

I thought it might be worthwhile to do a little recap of what happened this week.

42,800 people died this week from the virus.[1] Gov. Evers issued a plan for the Badger Bounce Back to lay framework for what it might be to get past some of this. You continued figuring out how to operate from home. That, of course, defined this week.

But there’s much more than that.

On Monday, a coyote was taking a nap in an empty parking lot at Yosemite, a bear roamed the streets of a town in Italy, and penguins strolled sidewalks of Cape Town, South Africa.

On Monday, my peas were sprouting. A miracle! saving a little eventual shipping fuel.

On Tuesday at Picnic Point, trout lilies were budding and I spotted my first ruby-crowned kinglet, a tiny chipper little bird with a red hat.

On Tuesday, John Muir was born. Well, he turned 182 years old that day, but…

He went on to help give us National Parks, but of his boyhood in Wisconsin he wrote of learning to swim by watching frogs, and about a loon he’d brought inside by the fireplace attacking his cat, and of all his favorite flowers. When the passenger pigeons came, he said “Of all God’s feathered people that sailed the Wisconsin sky, no other bird seemed to us so wonderful.”[2] At the death of a horse, he gained

“a real knowledge of animals as fellow-mortals, learning to respect them and love them, and even to win some of their love. Godlike sympathy grows and thrives and spreads far beyond the teachings of churches and schools, [he said] where too often the mean, blinding, loveless doctrine is taught that animals have neither mind nor soul, have no rights that we are bound to respect, and were made only for man, to be petted, spoiled, slaughtered, or enslaved.”[3]

I hope as the MCC and elsewhere, we rediscover a truer Christianity that fosters rather than dissuades what John Muir knew even as a child about our relationships with all creatures.

Besides Tuesday giving us those John Muir connections, also on Tuesday Aldo Leopold counted 871 geese along the Wisconsin River and examined bloodroot flowers at dawn. They were his final field notes, as he died later that day fighting a spreading fire.[4] He’d said “many historical events, hitherto explained solely in terms of human enterprise, were actually biotic interactions between people and land.”[5] His death was interacting with the environment, and he shows us it is always about relationship, including in the likely origins of the coronavirus. Leopold’s personal interactions with the land and ecology have been gone 72 years now.

This lost Leopold also leaves us grief about the extinction of passenger pigeons, for a monument still standing at Wyalusing State Park. He said it was

“the funeral of a species. It symbolizes our sorrow. We grieve because no living [person] will see again the onrushing phalanx of victorious birds, sweeping a path for spring across the skies, chasing the defeated winter from all the woods and prairies of Wisconsin.

“It is a century now since Darwin gave us the first glimpse of the origin of species. We know now what was unknown to all the preceding caravan of generations: that [humans] are only fellow-voyagers with other creatures in the odyssey of evolution. This new knowledge should have given us, by this time, a sense of kinship with fellow-creatures; a wish to live and let live; a sense of wonder over the magnitude and duration of the biotic enterprise.”[6]

To continue with the week in review, on Wednesday, my cousin was born. Well, this Wednesday Peter celebrated his 50th birthday.

Also hitting the half-century mark on Wednesday was Earth Day, started in 1970 by Wisconsin Senator Gaylord Nelson and becoming the most widely observed secular holiday in the world. In his speech that original day, Nelson reminded us of the objective

“to put Gross National Quality on a par with Gross National Product… concerned …not just with how we dispose of our tin cans, bottles and sewage [but all our problems]…It is a hungry child in a land of affluence…[It] is a problem perpetuated by the expenditure of billions a year on war, instead of on our… congested, polluted urban areas that are inhuman traps for millions of people. Our goal is not just an environment of clean air and water and scenic beauty. The objective is an environment of decency, quality and mutual respect for all other human beings and all other living creatures. Our goal is a new American ethic that sets new standards for progress, emphasizing human dignity and well being rather than an endless parade of technology that produces more gadgets, more waste, more pollution. Are we able to meet the challenge?” our Senator asked, and answered: “Yes.”[7]

Four years ago on Wednesday, then, the Paris Climate Agreement was signed.

This Wednesday Dane County announced a new solar farm, part of its Climate Action Plan to cut greenhouse gas emissions in half this decade.[8]

Still, it was for quite different reasons this week that the air was clearer and easier to breathe in Los Angeles and Beijing and probably Madison. And oil, often black gold and the driver of life on this planet, instead had value below 0, as investors were not selling, but paying up to $38 to get rid of barrels of oil.[9]

Further in the week, on Thursday on an outing, I counted 34 forsythia bushes blooming in people’s yards versus 19 magnolias, even though the magnolias had a decisive early lead.

Yesterday, Saturday the 25th, marked the beginning of the Flint, Michigan water crisis six years ago, and an enormous earthquake in Nepal five years ago, and our best ever view of our universe, when the Hubble telescope was put into orbit 30 years ago.[10]

That view of our week and our broader surroundings, of feathered people and the biotic community and our predecessor kin of humans and entire species, that view of our neighborhood on this planet and beyond into the galaxies and the future, that view and perspective took me a long, long time to be able to see.

Coronavirus, I lamented more than a month ago, became the only thing going on. I was supposed to write for a church organization, Lutherans Restoring Creation,[11] about the 50th anniversary of Earth Day, but I kept putting it off, because it wasn’t where my attention was. It even seemed pointless. We’ve got enough just to make it through each of these strange days. In a phrase that Pastor Sonja uses, we just haven’t had the bandwidth to deal with much of anything else.

I admire the people who look at the changes we’ve been making and can anticipate that it will help in being better to the planet and each other going forward. For me, it partly just manifests frustration; if we can change our lives so intensely, so instantly because of the virus, why are we so immobilized to much real adaptation to address climate change? In the early weeks, this even meant that political parties on Capitol Hill were able to work together (though our legislature in Wisconsin seems unshakably stuck in preferring partisan parrying over actually confronting crisis and doing something to help).

That huge list from this past week and from the past I was eventually able to see, of how we make it through or move forward. I hope maybe it helped you to see it too, to see beyond the glare of present circumstances.

Still, a second conundrum for me is that I’ve arrived at a point where sermons would normally be wrapping up and I still haven’t mentioned Jesus. We got to the 50 years of Earth Day, but what does that have to do with living amid the 50 days of Easter?

For how directly our Bible readings kept fitting to speak God’s Word into the reality of the virus and our lives right now, these readings this week left me wondering how God was speaking into all that larger context of creation.

For example, we might feel sympathy with the two disciples in the Gospel reading, who, it says “stood still, looking sad” and knew overwhelming present circumstances as they asked, “Are you the only stranger who does not know the things that have taken place in these days?” (Luke 24:17-18)

Again, we probably pray honestly the words of the Psalm: “the anguish of the grave came upon me; I came to grief and sorrow. O LORD, I pray you, save my life. Precious in your sight, O LORD, is the death of your servants.” (Psalm 116:3-4, 15). While that’s a faithful prayer, and may hold those dying or facing the most danger, we’re probably looking for more of an answer.

A question from our 1st reading may then be on our minds: “what should we do?” But we may find less validity in the response: “Repent, and be baptized every one of you” (Acts 2:37-38).

In the face of climate change, against stubborn deniers, we might take Jesus’ words: “O how foolish you are, and how slow of heart to believe.” (Luke 24:25).

In the end, even though it’s not about a task or how we’re supposed to feel successful, I suggest we take confidence from Luke that the risen Jesus is with you, present, and made known even in something like a confused and fearful, quiet meal at the end of a day, at home when darkness settles. Christ is coming for dinner, for your sustenance.

What matters, then, for any context, what ultimately shapes all our reality, and what puts you in proper relationship with God, neighbor, and creation is simply that, as it declares, “you have come to trust in God, who raised Jesus from the dead…so that your faith and hope are set on God. You have been born anew…through the living and enduring word of God” (1st Peter 1:21,23).

Alleluia! Christ is risen!

Hymn: All Creatures, Worship God Most High (ELW 835, st1, 4-6)

 

[1] https://www.worldometers.info/coronavirus/coronavirus-death-toll/

[2] Muir: Nature Writings, “My Boyhood and Youth: A Paradise of Birds,” p78

[3] Muir: Nature Writings, “My Boyhood and Youth: Life on a Wisconsin Farm,” p56

[4] Aldo Leopold: His Life and Work, Curt Meine, p519

[5] in A Sand County Almanac, The Land Ethic: The Community Concept

[6] in A Sand County Almanac, “On A Monument to the Pigeon”

[7] http://nelsonearthday.net/docs/nelson_26-18_ED_denver_speech_notes.pdf

[8] https://madison.com/wsj/news/local/environment/dane-county-looks-to-develop-18-megawatt-solar-farm-joe-parisi-says-project-to-save/article_b3de5ee4-ad45-58c8-8b63-6bcbc86c68e5.html

[9] https://www.npr.org/sections/coronavirus-live-updates/2020/04/20/838521862/free-falling-oil-prices-keep-diving-as-demand-disappears

[10] https://www.history.com/this-day-in-history/andropov-writes-to-u-s-student

[11] https://lutheransrestoringcreation.org/third-sunday-easter-year-a-utphall/

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Mountain Sunday

sermon on Exodus33:18-34:8, Mark9:2-10, Psalm48 (and John Muir)

 

The mountains are calling and I must go…mountain

We could think with mountains just of Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount or the Mount of Olives. Or of Sir Edmund Hilary and Tenzing Norgay, the first to scale Mount Everest. Or Pachamama, the indigenous Peruvian mountain goddess who gets combined with the Virgin Mary. But for the voice of mountains, let’s hear from Wisconsin-raised John Muir, who led the call for protecting several of our earliest National Parks and camped with Teddy Roosevelt and founded the Sierra Club. John Muir’s words will guide our reflection today, in concert or dialogue with Scripture and our faith.

“The mountains are calling and [we] must go” is a good phrase from him to get us started. It may fit with God beckoning Moses up the mountain, and the retreat of Jesus and the disciples, to get away from pressures of labors for solitude and re-creation. Plus, that’s the vista where you can see visions. We are in this for a mountain-top experience!

You may know the feeling I had as a 6th grader flying over the Rockies, seeing a snow-covered range for the first time and yearning to go explore more. Or the sense of driving into Colorado or Montana and just waiting for the craggy peaks to appear in the distance. Or the return to flat land when clouds on the horizon make you look twice expecting that soul-filling grandeur.

Walk away quietly in any direction and taste the freedom of the mountaineer. Climb the mountains and get their good tidings, Nature’s peace will flow into you as sunshine flows into trees. Cares will drop off like autumn leaves. As age comes on, one source of enjoyment after another is closed, but nature’s sources never fail.

 Expanding on enjoyment, as stress and cares depart, this is often our reaction to mountains, of getting away on vacation. Muir also said, though, that “in God’s wildness lies the hope of the world.” This sense not only compels us to get out and explore, to find rejuvenation away from too-controlling and human civilization, but also propels us to preservation, that we need to be caring for these things. Hope for us, and for them.

Again, Muir could declare that few are deaf to the preaching of pine trees, that “Their sermons on the mountains go to our hearts.” Those sermons, Muir said, are about not clear-cutting forests, so their preached message includes self-preservation, but also means conserving these wild places because they are good for us, too, like in this quote:

Thousands of tired, nerve-shaken, over-civilized people are beginning to find out that going to the mountains is going home; that wildness is a necessity; and that mountains are useful not only as fountains of timber and irrigating rivers, but as fountains of life.

 Still, this highlights a distinction. Though I’d reject the strict Christianity of Muir’s father and am eager for us to hear his voice for our view of the mountains, it isn’t totally the same focus as what we say here in church. When he says the trees on slopes have sermons and the mountains convey “good tidings and Nature’s peace,” we have to ask if that’s the same tidings of good news proclaimed in a sermon or is different than the peace of Christ we share here. When Muir said Beauty is synonymous with God, we’d say love is more representative in embodying God.

Again, I share Muir’s message to try to bring some the feel of the mountains into this very tame and calm and orderly setting. But I remain unconvinced that you can get the same good news and hope by being outdoors on a Sunday morning. Moses couldn’t take the full terrifying view, but with his back turned had to trust proclamation, that our God intends to be known as a God of steadfast love and kindness, whose promise abides to the thousandth generation. It’s a perpetual question of where you look—or listen—for God. I believe you need to be here for a clearer word from God spoken in your language and into your own being that you can’t discern from a mountain message. The “fountain of life” isn’t simply what naturally exists around you, but at its heart the fountain of life is God in Jesus, and we should listen to his proclamation. We can extrapolate from Jesus to nature, but not so clearly the other way.

Still, from John Muir’s natural perspective and these Season of Creation weeks, we celebrate beauty with clarity that everything made is good, a unity of the whole. Here’s Muir on our place amid a much grander family than we usually recognize, and which Muir himself says he had overlooked:

[I had] never before noticed so fine a union of rock and cloud in form and color and substance, drawing earth and sky together as one; and we shout, exulting in wild enthusiasm as if all the divine show were our own. More and more, in a place like this, we feel ourselves part of wild Nature, kin to everything.

Those words of a divine show—a Godly spectacle!—were from Muir’s first year in the Sierra Nevada mountains, about a sunset on this very day 149 years ago: September 2, 1869. Because we so often separate ourselves and see creation as other, here’s another passage on the same theme of family:

Yosemite Park is a place in which one gains the advantages of both solitude and society. Nowhere will you find more company of a soothing peace-be-still kind. Your animal fellow beings, so seldom regarded in civilization, and every rock-brow and mountain, stream, and lake, and every plant soon come to be regarded as brothers [and sisters]; one even learns to like the storms and clouds and tireless winds.

It’s interesting he’s able to see not just animals but also plants and waters and the rocks themselves as siblings. That can help us hear relationships when Jesus says that if we’re silent about these things, instead (as we sang last week) “every stone shall cry” out.

Muir also directly offers words from Jesus here—of “peace, be still,” from Jesus calming a storm. Yet that may show a distinction, since Muir favors the tempest and delights in the destruction. He sees death as no enemy. He learns to like the storms. He climbed to the top of a 100-foot pine whipping in a fierce windstorm so he could feel as the tree did and hear the music of the needles in the wind.

That, versus how we may be intrigued by extreme weather events, but only to a degree. At Holden Village, I liked snowshoeing up a snowfield alone, but was intimidated and ready to turn back from the crash of avalanche noise and the footprints of a mountain lion. I admit I enjoyed biking through the downpour after the Worship Team meeting Tuesday, but was also ready to change into dry clothes at home. You may wince at every forecast and dread it and look for escape rather than delight. That may seem a place for faith: that we seek in God shelter from the storm. Or, better, remember that God’s abiding and enduring love is so much more than terrors, as terrifying as they may be.

There’s another edge of faith, too, that’s not about escape, but about engagement. Here’s a bit toward that:

Here is the eternal flux of Nature manifested. Ice changing to water, lakes to meadows, and mountains to plains. And while we thus contemplate Nature’s methods of landscape creation, and, reading the records she has carved on the rocks, reconstruct, however imperfectly, the landscapes of the past, we also learn that as these we now behold have succeeded those of the pre-glacial age, so they in turn are withering and vanishing to be succeeded by others yet unborn.

This describes John Muir’s discovery that glaciers and not volcanoes formed the scenery of Yosemite. He was reading the clues left long before, that they slowly carved away the mountains. I pair that with words from Jesus, that faith can say to a mountain “be thrown into the sea.” We tend to picture that as meaning you could say a little prayer and move mountains. I’m favorably inclined to Muir’s geo-logic that sees the stretch of God’s work over eons, that mountains are indeed being carried into the sea, and the new mountains arise through the still-little understood process of plate tectonics, that these moving mountains are, after all, a vision of our faith, from 470-million-year-old Appalachians to eruptions in Hawaii, God still creating.

People ought to saunter in the mountains – not hike! Do you know the origin of that word ‘saunter?’ It’s a beautiful word. Away back in the Middle Ages people used to go on pilgrimages to the Holy Land, and when people in the villages through which they passed asked where they were going, they would reply, ‘A la sainte terre,’ ‘To the Holy Land.’ And so they became known as sainte-terre-ers or saunterers. Now these mountains are our Holy Land, and we ought to saunter through them reverently.

Our task today has been to see these journeys not just as sightseeing or diversionary little outings, but reverently, as holy pilgrimages to encounter the mountains, and to encounter God. Finally, we return to the extended rest of our opening:

The mountains are calling and I must go, and I will work on while I can, incessantly.

With John Muir, then, on this Labor Day weekend, we remember that this isn’t escape. It’s not vacation. It’s not a peace just from pause. It’s a peace through engagement, from work, being aware of our place amid connections. Whether with Jesus we go back down from the mountain or with John Muir we work incessantly above, our vocations remain. God calls us to work. As we say at the MCC, this is the practice of living faithfully and lovingly with God, neighbor, and creation. That’s God’s work and labor, too. So one more good one, to let Mr. Muir have the last word:

Standing here, with facts so fresh and telling and held up so vividly before us, every seeing observer must readily apprehend the earth-sculpturing, landscape-making action. And here, too, one learns that the world, though made, is yet being made; that this is still the morning of creation; that mountains long conceived are now being born.

  

Quotes are from John Muir: Nature Writings (Cronon, ed.) and https://vault.sierraclub.org/john_muir_exhibit/writings/favorite_quotations.aspx

 

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Prison Earth Day

sermon on Acts 16:19-34 and on Earth Day

 

Earth Day and a prison Bible reading, with an edge of economic impact. It begs the question of how we assign the roles. Where are we in this story? And where is Earth?

I want to start with clarifying what I believe is not the answer, and hope to pry you free from this faulty faith. For too long, too many loud voices have asserted a view that metaphorically Earth would be the prison in this story, and God’s salvation would be to spring us free, unleash from this mortal coil, to escape the bonds of the flesh and soil, to make an eternal getaway and fly away to the sky. Over and over I’ll remind you: that is not Scripture’s story. We are not imprisoned on this planet or in our bodies or with this life.

Yes, there may be much we lament—maybe even feeling like too much—from natural disasters to a slow spring for greening growth, from wars and corruption to prison to cranky relationships, sore muscles to diseases, death or small blemishes.  We’d like to be free of those.

But God isn’t trying to get us away from here. God is trying to fulfill life here. On earth…as it is in heaven. It is GOOD, God sees over and over, daily in the creation story in the first chapter of our Bible. That goodness wasn’t because it was special paradise so different from now. It’s because God delights in what God has made, including this world, and including you.

God so loves this good world that God longed to be with you, couldn’t bear to be separate, and so came rushing into our arms as Jesus, to love us not only when things are in the cheery honeymoon of life, but through all the hurt and sorrow and difficulty.

And God was so in love, so in favor, so enamored of life on this Earth that God not only was born here, to live here, but raised from death as well. In this Easter season, we celebrate continuity of the new creation. After crucifixion, God certainly could’ve said, “Pfft! I’m outta here! To heck with that place!” (Or, being God, I suppose could’ve directly meant it in saying, “To Hell with them!”) Instead, the resurrection puts an exclamation point on God’s insistence for life in this world, in existence we already know, of Jesus’ commitment to how things go here in this place, not in some heaven lightyears away.

So if we’re looking for the location of our Bible story, the prison break cannot be understood as God liberating the select set of Christians or the humans or whoever from the jail Earth.

What if we reverse it, then? What if, instead of the Earth as the prison, it’s the Earth in prison?

There’s plenty I like about that notion (even while disliking what it means). First of all, that it upends the troublesome theology of the other. It refuses to see creation as bad and further recognizes the bondage that our ways place on Earth. We humans want everything under our control, or enslaved to secure our selfish benefit. We limit nature as resources for us to use. We seek to tame wilderness, or else to exterminate it.

This employs the wrong reading of the creation story in taking permission to be domineering, to dominate and subdue as brutal masters, to ignore wellbeing of all else while presuming we preserve our own isolated me-first advantage. That model is nothing we’d associate with Jesus as loving Lord, who willingly laid down his life for the good of others. It is not the character of our God, and is not what God would intend for us.

Yet our rampage is rampant. It’s plain in mountaintops removed and groundwater poisoned by fracking, in these ecosystems detained entirely under our control. It’s evident with polar bears and coral reefs and elephants captive to our whims and shortsightedness, with birds whose migration and mating is malfunctioning because our actions have managed to keep them from their natural rhythms. Birds may be mobile. But trees can’t run away. They are locked in place to face the emerald ash borers and pine bark beetles. It’s the white nose syndrome that means bats won’t be flying free from hibernation caves this spring.

As our children readily recognized for us, our persecuting power over the earth is clear in clearcutting forest, drying out evergreens into deserts, plowing up prairie, pumping out aquifers, changing the chemistry of our atmosphere, and every project where we constrain the livelihood of life and ridiculously refer to it as “development.” We might as well see each and every as expansions of the prison industrial complex for the incarceration of creation.

The condemning death sentence of such tendencies is summarized in a saying from a native American* woman that was on a poster I had in my bedroom growing up: “When the last tree is cut, the last fish is caught, and the last river is polluted; when to breathe the air is sickening, you will realize, too late, that you can’t eat money.”

If we’re following this parallel reading, if the Earth has been imprisoned by our human society and culture, maybe our role for a positive change could be associated with the jailer from the Bible story, as God’s Holy Spirit is converting us, calling us to new life, from the waters of our birth. Maybe we hope to be among those of a new perspective, who don’t extract and deplete the planet, don’t trap it under the threat of death, who don’t claim maximum security while minimizing actual life, but recognize that God’s salvation is to liberate, to free, to release from captivity to fears and diminished existence, not only for human benefit but on behalf of all life and we heed the call to serve as caretakers.

Maybe there’s still more. Maybe that possibility for us as jailers-turned-caretakers could lead us to a third consideration. Not that the Earth is bad and good people are stuck here. Not that humans are bad and Earth is stuck with us. What about the apparent notion that sin and abuse are bad and God is striving to liberate us and all creatures from what would inhibit life, to give us freedom to live together well?

Our hint of this may be that in the Bible story the jailer’s life is bound to the inmates. God’s work wasn’t just to free Paul and Silas, but also to free the jailer. They, then, could share in new relationship—not of hierarchies of fear and oppression and inevitably leading to death on the one side or the other (either execution for the prisoners or suicide for the guard if they escaped), but a relationship of blessing and celebration and company of rejoicing—joy that spreads among the other prisoners and to the jailer’s family and on from there—a relationship of binding up wounds and healing and caring and striving for life.

This is God’s abundant Easter work for you, among us on this Earth Day, and—indeed—every day. It is striving to break you free from your individual prisons that confine you into thinking you’re not good enough, that your wrongs are inescapable, that your existence is worthless, that you’re too harmful for life around you, whether the broader planet or closer relationships. That captivity to sin from which you cannot free yourself keeps restricting you and holds you trapped in the negative. In forgiveness and holy inspiration full of creativity, right now Jesus is liberating you from that prison cell, undoing your lock and those chains that have stifled your wellbeing and sense of yourself.

And this is also how God is operating in systems that ensnare us. God is mutually working to free humans and the planet when systemic oppression often overlaps—that people with darker skin are apt to live closer to pollution, that lesser developed nations will suffer worse effects of climate change, that the little guys trying to do the right thing can’t fund fake corporate science reports, that those who have done less harm and can afford less opportunity to purchase the get-out-of-jail free card are caught, and that really such situations are no good for any of us, even those who think they’re winning.

From Pope Francis to secular organizations now recognize these systems are interconnected, that none of our projects stand alone. Environmental work is bound to racial justice,

which is tied to economic wellbeing,

which is part of the body of health care,

which interfaces with your body image,

which stands against capitalist propaganda,

and is united with sustainable agriculture,

which is part and parcel with the global peace movement,

which attends to school systems,

which confronts gun violence,

which is linked with immigration and refugee relations,

and relates to those actually physically in prison or trying to re-enter society,

which is amid your daily life,

which is of course constrained with politics,

which is wholly related to our religious practice,

which must be a congregation of every creature, from small to large, near on these grounds to original stars.

In the old image of a food chain, all creatures would suffer if any link were broken. Well, we now know that’s a web of creation more than simple chains, that my wellbeing is dependent on your wellbeing which is connected to Earth’s stability, that everything is hitched to everything else (as John Muir said) and we are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality (as Martin Luther King put it, for a very different reason, but with a very similar end result).

And for the purposes of our Bible story on this Earth Day, Martin Luther said** that you have been set totally free and are obligated to no one, which also means you are totally captive and obligated to all. Your chains are gone, and that has served to reinforce your connection to everyone and everything else. The life-sucking bonds that imprisoned you have been released. Now you are free for the life-giving bonds that tie you to live faithfully and lovingly with God, your neighbor, and creation.

That is the good news of life this Easter season, breaking free from tomb and gloom, and resurrecting you with Jesus and with all that God so loves.

Alleluia! Christ is risen!

 

* actually First Nations filmmaker, Alanis Obomsawin
https://quoteinvestigator.com/2011/10/20/last-tree-cut/

** “A Christian is a perfectly free lord of all, subject to none. A Christian is a perfectly dutiful servant of all, subject to all.” – see “Freedom of a Christian”

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