Drummond Hill Newsletter, July 20, 2022
Wednesday Meditation (Genesis 21: 15-16)
When the water in the skin was gone, she cast the child under one of the bushes. Then she went and sat down opposite him a good way off, about the distance of a bowshot; for she said, ‘Do not let me look on the death of the child.’ And as she sat opposite him, she lifted up her voice and wept.
Europe is facing an unprecedented heatwave. People are dying by the hundreds. They do not know where to go and find relief from this stifling heat. At over 40 degrees Celcius people cannot survive. Human bodies overheat. Without cooling, we perish.
One resource we depend most on is water. Flowing water in the Bible signifies life. In this context, we read about Hagar with her son Ishmael, having been thrown out into the desert by Abraham at Sarah’s request, in desperation after she and her son drank all the water they carried. Homeless and without water in the desert, she could not imagine how they would survive. She could not bear the thought of seeing her son die of thirst. So she sat opposite him and wept.
She lifted up her voice and wept. What else could she do, but weep and lift up her voice? Will God hear her? Why did this God tell Abraham to do as Sarah wished? Did Abraham not father Ishmael? The cruelty of Abraham and Sarah is unimaginable.
Without water, life cannot be sustained. For many decades we turned our deaf ears to the cries of Africans who suffered drought after drought, causing horrible famines that drove people towards Europe and other parts of the world. Now, for the first time in living memory, Europeans are facing droughts and heat beyond anything they have ever experienced. With unimaginable heat, Europe is burning.
Yet, people are still not at the point of desperation. They are still going about their lives. But in the shadows, those vulnerable ones are dying. Already hundreds have died in Spain and Portugal. The numbers will increase. In our parts of the world, finally, after many weeks of dryness, rain came. Some more rain is possible tonight. We are relieved. Our world will be able to sustain life as more and more grass and plants turn green. We do not know what our future will be like.
Climate change, global warming, and many environmental factors caused by human activities put all of us at the brink. Have we reached the desperation point that Hagar experienced? Are we ready to lift up our voices and weep?
It's summer, the time when life flourishes!
Away from worries, fears, anxieties, and pain, can we enjoy beauty and peace? Can we find them all around us? More than ever, we are in need of a great reset. How can we turn everything off and restart afresh? Is it possible?
Everything around us shows us how. All these flowers, animals, birds, and insects point us the way only if we are able to see. Flowers bloom. Some as annuals having to start the entire cycle of life each year. Perennials shed leaves and go dormant during winter, but start all over again in Spring. Animals, birds, and insects follow the cycle of life.
We, human beings, on the other hand refuse to follow the cycle of life. Instead, we have done our best to override the cycle of life. We did it by gathering, hoarding, and making ourselves way more comfortable than necessary. For example, today, we think it is normal for us to eat strawberries in January, buy the best beef cuts whenever we want to, and fill our freezers with food just in case. In so doing, we made human ways of being far more important than following the cycle of life as was intended by God for all creation. Here we are not talking about protecting ourselves and living comfortably to a point. We are talking about doing everything in excess while destroying God’s creation to serve only the needs of humans.
It is about time that we enjoy flowers, birds, insects, and animals around us while learning from them what it means for us to be part of and be stewards of God’s creation.
Summer Things To do: A different way of thinking what a new church can be
They are everywhere. Indeed, we do not even know how many churches there are in the world. They are certainly plentiful all around us. We can confidently say that each church is unique. God has created each one with its own quirk of culture. We may speak same words and read from the similarly translated Bibles, but the way we are being the church is unique as one person is different from another.
This August, for the first two Sundays, (7th and 14th) we are asking you to pay a visit to a neighbourhood church. It will give us a way of understanding who they are, what they do, and how they worship. We will also find out how welcome they are and what it means to be part of their community. These visits will help us learn from them and see what good things we can apply to our church.
Some of us are shy and do not like to go alone. It is a good time to talk to a friend and see if you want to go together. If you have a friend in another church, you can ask her whether you could join her for a service. We can certainly thank her and the church for hosting us. Let’s have a time of fellowship with Christians in our neighbourhood.
Here are some of the churches we might like to visit:
Stamford Presbyterian Church, Chippawa Presbyterian Church, St. Andrews United Church, Stamford-Lane United Church, St. Patrick Catholic Church, Lady of Scapula Catholic Church, St. Thomas More Catholic Church, Christ Church Anglican, Our Lady of Peace Anglican Church, St. John’s Anglican Church, The Gate Alliance Church, Grace Gospel Church, Niagara Worship Centre, Fallsview Brethren Church, Calvary Chapel, Mountain Park Church, Central Community Church (on York Road), Redeemer Bible Church, St. Pauls, Lutheran Church, Faith Fellowship Christian Reformed Church, River of Life Church, Niagara Orchard Community Church.
These are only a partial list of churches in Niagara Falls. If you know of a different one, you are more than welcome to attend and bring back reports.
No Cinnamon Bun Tuesday in August.
It will start back in September.
and what is heard comes through the word of Christ.