Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Reflection on Downton Abbey

Dear Friends

Like many of you I have been watching Downton Abbey which just ended its fourth season on Sunday. It is fun and interesting to watch life in the 1920’s in England. We marvel at the clothes, the furniture, the “upstairs-downstairs” way of life and of course, the drama of what is happening in the lives of characters we have come to love.

Part of the story is about people adapting (or not adapting) to change. We watch Carson the Butler struggle with this new gadget – the telephone and Lord Grantham having to come to terms with his daughter’s choices and life styles which are so different from his own. Lady Mary is a key figure who wants to keep Downton Abbey going for the sake of her son George and is willing to explore the necessary changes that will help her beloved Downton to survive.

Of course, this resonates for all of us as we live in the year 2014 because change continues. And certainly we see it in the church. We have to adapt to enormous changes in technology that the next generation is embracing – like computers, smart phones, streaming videos, and I don’t know what! Families have changed and some of our of traditional expressions of faith have changed.

But as I write this, I remind you that while expression of faith may change, God does not. God continues to love us and guide us as we turn to God. That enables us to find our way in the midst of the changes. Our God is always inviting you to enter into a deeper relationship with God

This morning as I was pondering this I had a memory of being in the ocean in North Carolina. One of my favorite activities of my life is being in the ocean at the Outer Banks - when I am there I feel like I am 17 years old again. The waves there can be strong at times. And when a wave is coming that makes me nervous I simply go under it and allow it to break over me. And I thought that is what always "works" when I get nervous about the waves of change that are coming my way.

Going deeper with God means I am still present and in the ocean but I know I am safe. And my prayer as I continue to try to be faithful is to trust that and to continue to develop a life of spiritual depth with the source of all life. I write this as I prepare opportunities for folks in the church to "go deeper" with God. My hope is that more people will understand the blessing of developing a life with God.

end this with a quote from Thich Naht Han

I am inviting you to go deeper, to learn and to practice so that you become someone who has a great capacity for being solid, calm, and without fear, because our society needs people like you who have these qualities, and your children, our children, need people like you, in order to go on, in order to become solid, and calm, and without fear.”

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