Text: Psalm 92:1-4, 12-15
Many of you are aware that we’ve just had a visit from John Witcombe, the dean (which means senior pastor) of Coventry Cathedral in the UK. The Community of the Cross of Nails centered at the cathedral is one of our international partners. Pullen’s cross of nails hangs on the back wall of the sanctuary. Our new friend John became dean just after the most recent Pullen pilgrimage to Coventry in 2012, so this was our first time to meet him and we had a delightful visit. Most gratifying for many of us is that rather than seeing CCN as one of many ministries of the cathedral community, John believes the cathedral’s most important Christian witness is its ministry of reconciliation embodied in the Community of the Cross of Nails.
As he provided an update of activities there, John mentioned that the cathedral is strengthening its relationships within the city of Coventry and renewing its local reconciliation efforts. “It’s not enough,” he explained, “to be the focal point of a worldwide network of reconciling partners. We have to do own our reconciliation work where we live. You can’t export what you don’t manufacture.”
Today on this second Sunday of our Creation Season, I want to suggest two things. First, we can’t export health and wholeness to other humans and the planet if we aren’t actively pursuing our own. Second, nature can assist us in this pursuit. Our text for today is an upbeat invitation to enter the summer of 2015. It reminds us that it is indeed good to give thanks and to declare God’s love and faithfulness to the sound of music. “At the works of your hands I sing for joy!” the psalmist declares. Then he or she goes on to tell us how we can identify God’s people:
The righteous flourish like the palm tree, and grow like a cedar in Lebanon. They are planted in the house of the LORD; they flourish in the courts of our God. In old age they still produce fruit; they are always green and full of sap…