On this chilled winter morning, the sun rises as I watch through the picture window in the comfort of my living room. Two maple trees stand in absolute stillness, their dark frame silhouetted in the sunlight, resting in their seasonal sabbath. Just behind them, in stark contrast, is a lush pine tree full of life and needles, gently dancing joyfully in the breeze of the day. A small little bird calls out to no one in particular somewhere nearby, or perhaps her call is for me. Inside, our houseplants all lean into the window, seeking precious time in the sun. They make space for one another, and yet huddle in community. In the background, I listen to the beautiful melody of the bells tolling as our clock strikes the hour.
The scene is gentle, clear and crisp. Life is moving forward, even if winter seems to stand still. Far beneath the ground, creatures of the summer are transforming in cocoons while adjacent seeds are gathering nutrients. Inside my maples, sap is flowing up and down their bare trunks. Everywhere, below the surface, there is movement amongst the stillness. God is at work now, preparing and transfiguring the creation even as the creation rests in its winter sleep. My mind wanders, and I find myself wondering what God is stirring in me even as I sit in my moment of sabbath this morning, calmly and quietly. I need not be busy – I need not be working or studying – for God to be acting upon me. And so I just sit and let God the artist mold and create around and within me, on this chilled winter morning. Amen.
-Rev Jeffrey G Mikyska (pastor of Holy Trinity Lutheran Church in Elgin, IL)