Monday, March 26, 2012

In The Bulb there is a Flower VU703

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Today’s Blog Post
In The Bulb there is a Flower VU703

In 1986 Natalie Sleeth created something that touched me deeply yesterday.

Before I tell you what that was I must tell you the setting were in when I discovered it.

Yesterday I was sitting in a strange church and listening to many things that were different. Their liturgy and music was very different from what I was used to. Everything was different from what I have known for so many years.

At the first few moments of collecting my thoughts in the huge church sanctuary, I was awe inspired with just the place. The giant rising ceiling and the stained glass windows simply took my breath away. But I guess new churches all do this to me – at least the stately old ones that have a history of over 125 years in the community.

If the pews could only speak!

We attended Trinity United Church yesterday which was a great experience.

The amazing organ thundered its way into my mind and heart. With the very talented Musician and Director of Music, Robert Grandy, serving as Organist, Choir leader and also playing in a special number with a violinist, Deborah Henderson; I was inspired.


The service was led by a fellow minister, The Reverend Kevin Derry. His Meditation and Reflection on Jeremiah 31:31-34 and John 12:20-33 stirred my heart. I have the heard and read these portions of the Bible before… but Kevin’s words and thoughts struck home inside of me.

It has been a long time since we have heard a Choir sing like Trinity United’s choir sang. One of my friends that attend Trinity had told me that the Choir is amazing… and he was right!

When reading over what I just wrote, it sounds a bit like a travel brochure for a tourist magazine. Well that is not far from the truth. I am “traveler” or “explorer” in Christian things now.

For years of serving as a Pentecostal Minister, confined to the one church building in the community we lived in and then driving by all the other churches each Sunday, I wondered what the other churches were like.

Of course I could never go into one of “those places”! They were definitely not like us! And if I, as a well known minister living in that community, ever walked into the “competition’s” place I would be shot dead by my own people back at the church I belonged to! Pure and simple – you don’t cross over that boundary when you are in the place that I was for so many years.

Not long ago we started to consider this wonderful time in our lives when we can do things that we could not do before… like visit other places of worship. And then we started to travel and explore… and what a time it has been!

I have found God is in all the wrong places.

For years my congregations were convinced that He only attended our church. In fact for me that has been the better part of my “knowing years”, all 68 of them. The Protestant and evangelical branch of the big tree of churches was the only one that I knew. And where we were was way out there on a far leaf cluster (– away from the competition).

As we progressed through the service we came to Hymn number 703 in the Voices United hymnal. As we began to sing the words the thoughts that came exploded with hope in me.

Whoa! Hold on Pastor! This is a United Church of Canada… and it doesn’t seem like a place that you can shout out, “Hallelujahs”!!!! But it happened in that Hymn 703… a quiet Hallelujah… ahem.

Here are the words that Natalie Sleeth wrote in 1986…

In the bulb there is a Flower
In the bulb there is a flower; in the seed, an apple tree;
In cocoons, a hidden promise: butterflies will soon be free!
In the cold and snow of winter there’s a spring that waits to be,
Unrevealed until its season, something God alone can see.

There’s a song in every silence, seeking word and melody;
There’s a dawn in every darkness, bringing hope to you and me.
From the past will come the future; what it holds, a mystery,
Unrevealed until its season, something God alone can see.

In our end is our beginning; in our time, infinity;
In our doubt there is believing; in our life, eternity,
In our death, a resurrection; at the last, a victory,
Unrevealed until its season, something God alone can see.

(HYMN OF PROMISE – Copyright © 1986 Hope Publishing Company)

I want to thank Trinity United for welcoming a retired Pentecostal Minister into their service yesterday. Reverend Kevin, you and the service blessed us. Thank you!

~ Murray Lincoln ~

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