June is Bustin’ Out All Over!

Greetings in the Name of our Lord, Jesus Christ!

 

“June is bustin’ out all over!”—so sings the female lead and the chorus in Rodger’s and Hammerstein’s hit musical Carousel; a hit still remembered by many because of the numerous revival productions staged around the country.  The song celebrates new life, a theme common in “June” songs, and one which explains the popularity of June weddings.  It’s easier to focus on new life when it is “bustin’ out all over”.

Which brings us to new life in Christ—new life, abundant life, everlasting life—by and through the One who is the way, the truth, and the life (Jn. 14.6).  By the time this newsletter publishes, I will have spent a week in a CREDO conference with about forty other clerics.  CREDO (Latin for “I believe,” and the root for our word creed) involves working with others in a structured program in which we examine who we are as a person and who we are in ministry, as shaped and empowered by the faith we confess and live.  What we believe—that Jesus is Lord, and that God’s will for us is salvation—is  life-giving.

A week-long conference is a rare opportunity.  It may be tempting, therefore, to think that on a day-to-day basis, and amidst the many trials and frustrations we each face, that new life is an abstraction, a nice idea but not one that I can feel/experience on any given day.  Leaving aside the reality that when I focus only on my own feelings I open a wide doorway for Satan to enter and argue that there is no new life, only this life, when I focus only on my own feelings I am less likely to pay attention to signs of life around me, signs of life in others, and signs of new life, new creation in myself.

New life is continually “bustin’ out all over” because Creation is the result of God’s ongoing will.  The Bible famously opens the story of creation with “In the beginning God created …,” and this makes it sound like Creation happened.  But Creation happens; new life happens all around us and within us, particularly when we offer ourselves to God.  This offering of self, which is the response most called for to God’s supreme self-offering of His Son, is what new life looks like, how new life is experienced.  When that deepest part of your being which is the image and likeness of God in which He made each one of us is offered by your will to serve God by serving others, He brings forth new life.  You experience new life; those to whom you offer yourself experience new life, and the summation of these offerings and experiences far, far exceeds what any one of us could alone ever even wish for.

When June busts out all over we see blossoms and blooms; we see stalks and fruit rising and ripening; we see the young on wing and foot and in the water begin to explore all.  When life-everlasting busts out we see that love is genuine and survives death, that beauty is real and endures beyond all ugliness, that good triumphs, that truth conquers lies, and that being is magnified in and by the source and summation of all Being, God.  The God who gives all of Himself both calls and empowers us to give of ourselves through the offering of our wills to His.  We experience beauty, for example, in the look of another for whom self-giving love is as unexpected as is the magnitude of difference between a bud and a blossom.   Just as we long for the blessings of gentle breezes and warm sun; just as we revel in the feel of fresh grass underfoot and the vibrant colors of the fullness of life, may we give thanks that the fullness of life-everlasting is given to us always when we stop, focus outside of ourselves to first experience the self-offering of God, and then in offering of ourselves both give God glory and participate in the glory of new life.

The Rodgers and Hammerstein song may be festive and a big “number”—the song of Creation is one without limits of notes or stanzas— a limitless rejoicing.  Happy June; holy June; to God be the glory!

 

Yours in Christ Jesus,

 

 

The Rev. Dr. Karl C. Schaffenburg

Rector

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Event Calendar

Live Stream - Solemn Mass
Sun Jun 25 @10:15AM - 11:30AM
Vestry Meeting
Sun Jun 25 @11:45AM -
Parish Breakfast
Tue Jun 27 @ 7:00AM - 08:00AM
Mass - St Peter and St Paul
Thu Jun 29 @ 9:00AM - 09:30PM
Bible Study
Thu Jun 29 @ 9:30AM - 11:00AM
Brat Fry @ Miesfeld's
Sat Jul 01 @12:00AM

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