Keeping Up With The News

Godspacelight Newsletter

by Christine Sine

by Christine Sine

It has been a chaotic week. On Wednesday we started a bathroom renovation. Its the smallest room in the house but it is amazing how much it disrupts our lives having it dismantled and reconstructed. It has not been touched for over 30 years and I suspect that some of it is the original 1910 construction. 

It’s a little like our own lives. When God decides to renew and reconstruct something that has gone untouched since the early days of our lives it can be quite chaotic, sometimes painful but always renewing and rejuvenating. More of that next week though. 

Unfortunately that is not the only challenging thing happening in our lives this last week. On Sunday I heard that Alex Tang, author of Tang’s Takeways on Substack and a contributor to Godspacelight for over 15 years, passed away suddenly. I am devastated. I never met Alex, but felt he became a friend through all the interactions we shared. I appreciated his wit, his wisdom and thoughtful reflections. He was a man of great spiritual insight and deep faith. Like me he was also a physician and a lover of science fiction. He will be sorely missed, not only in his home country of Malaysia but throughout the world which his writings impacted profusely. May God’s grace be with his family and all those who mourn his passing. 

In the midst of all this I am busy preparing for the Spirituality of Gardening  webinar on Saturday. If you have not signed up yet, now is the time to do that. My recent research into the impact of nature on our physical, emotional and spiritual health shows why I think this is so important. As a recent email from the Arbor Foundation said: “Some say laughter is the best medicine. But according to recent findings, the best medicine for your mental health might just be trees” And I would add plants and flowers and oceans and mountains and nature in all its many diverse forms. The first thing God does after creation is to plant a garden. We are made of the earth and for the earth and all the research does in reinforce that. 

Thursday is Ascension Day, not one I was familiar with until a few years ago. This post by Paul Neeley is very helpful in explaining what this is all about and why it is important. This fortieth day after Easter Sunday is a day of great significance as we celebration the ascension of Christ into heaven. It is also and, in some ways more importantly, a celebration of  the new creation that Jesus’ resurrection brought into being.  What beautiful imagery to carry with us for the rest of the season until Pentecost. It seems such an appropriate celebration for those of us who are interested in sustainability and creation care.

My Meditation Monday: Do You Need An Excuse to Get Outside? emphasized that too. (Audio available here) As I mentioned, a growing number of followers of Jesus admit that the place they feel closest to God is in nature. Eco-spirituality is gaining momentum in both the Protestant and Catholic Churches and movements like Wild Church, and Forest Church are attracting adherents in many Western countries. Others are disconnecting from church all together and creating their own nature based expressions of faith or drawing from indigenous or Celtic perspectives. It’s not surprising that research continues to demonstrate that being outside and experiencing nature can improve our mental and physical health and increase our ability to focus.”

I loved Diane Woodrow’s post What Do You See As The Characteristics of God”s New World?  and the way she applies that question to today’s world. Her question: “So what are God’s characteristics in this new world? Not just this world of emerging spring but this world of emerging surveillance technology and instant information; when if I’m not sure of something I just google it. Where is God in all of this? “

Freerange Friday: At The Table With Jesus – This Time It’s A Picnic provided Lilly Lewin’s  usual thoughtful and creative approach to following Jesus. I loved her suggestion that we sit down with Jesus for a picnic on the beach, imagery that has long held my attention. 

I also enjoyed Carol Dixon’s Easter Pondering and her suggestion that we look back over the stories of people who met with Jesus after his resurrection and ponder each word as we go. 

On Wednesday we posted another Liturgical Rebels’ episode,  this one an interview with Lilly Lewin and her experiences as a worship leader and curator. As we have all seen over the last few years Lilly is incredibly creative and this episode shares many examples of that. Don’t miss it and the preceding interviews with Drew Jackson, Scott Erickson, Kreg Yingst, Mark Pierson and my introductory episode with Forrest Inslee. This week I will interview Tony Jones and Brian McLaren. 

Many blessings on you as we continue your journey through Eastertide.

Christ of the pilgrim’s way,
Guide us, on our earthly journeys,
Pilgrimages toward your heart.
Prepare us,
Help us throw off what distracts,
Let go of our burdens,
And discern what is essential.
Lead us,
Into the company of friends.
Together may we travel far,
Looking with fresh eyes,
Prepared for new landscapes,
Ready to sing a new song.
Teach us,
Your unforced rhythms of grace,
Let us learn to live freely and lightly,
All the pilgrim days of our lives.

photo from Alex Tang’s substack Tang’s Takeaways

Spirituality of Gardening – A virtual retreat THIS SATURDAY

On May 11 from 9:30-12:30  pm PT (check my timezone) We will discuss connections between community, spirituality and gardening. Explore the wonderful ways that God and God’s story are revealed through the rhythms of planting, growing and harvesting as well as the beauty of nature. This webinar is for anyone who admires the beauty of God’s good creation, likes to walk in nature, sit by the ocean or just relax and listen to the birds in the trees. It is based on Christine Sine’s popular book, To Garden with God and each participant will receive a digital copy of this book.  

NOTE: The length of this retreat has been changed – 2 hours just

You may also like

Leave a Comment