Acts 7:51 – 8:3

Today’s devotional was written by Cameron Garrett

Music for Meditation: “Chorus Wheel,” Fuubutsushi

“You stiff-necked people, uncircumcised in heart and ears, you are forever opposing the Holy Spirit, just as your ancestors used to do.  Which of the prophets did your ancestors not persecute?” (NRSV 7:51-52a). 

      My first school was Four Seasons Elementary in Gambrills, Maryland.  I remember Mr. Wall, the librarian who read to us Julie of the Wolves; I remember Mr. Schmidt, the P.E. coach who I was desperate to impress with my mile time; I remember Reggie, the kind, black custodian who knew each student by name, and whose own name was the only adult’s at Four Seasons Elementary not adorned by the everyday honorific of “Mr.”; and I remember as a child the seasonal transitions, from winter to spring and summer to fall, always seemed to change in my head and heart before they changed in the world.  At the first hint of the promise of Spring’s warmth, I remember how eager I was to ditch my pants for shorts and my boots for the costless luxury of bare feet on fresh spring grass.  My desire to observe the newness of Spring with the ritualistic shedding of snow pants and boots was impeded by the (wise) pragmatism of my parents; they were still in winter.  

      I’ve chosen to accompany this reflection with a song by a collective of musicians who produce music under the moniker Fuubutsushi, a Japanese word that refers to seasonal nostalgia – our common human longing for an approaching season upon its first sign.  Folks who are particularly (r)apt observers of life are perhaps more sensitive to this feeling, fuubutsushi.  Children, poets, and prophets give life its due attentive diligence, and so see and feel the subtle changing of a season with the first whisper of atmospheric shift.  In other words, the neuroplasticity of our poets, prophets, and children empower them to lead the way in discernment of the Holy Spirit, She who is always inviting us into New Life.  As we see in today’s scripture passage, we don’t always greet Holy-Spirit-led change with longing – instead, we respond with “stiff necks” and persecution for the prophets who announce the necessary conditions of our new season.

How do you respond when you begin to suspect that you’re being invited into a new season of life? 

Is the coming transition experienced with longing?  Or is it threatening? 

What is it about seasonal change – physically, metaphorically, and spiritually – that stirs up deeply-felt emotion?

What are your thoughts, comments, and questions? We’d love to hear from you!

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