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Extend me!

Dear friends,


Easter blessings to all.  Alleluia!  Christ is Risen.  The Lord is Risen indeed. Alleluia! 

I was blessed to attend a continuing education program on Monday and Tuesday at my old seminary.  Sitting outside on a bench in front of Stuart Hall, scene of many of my classes over the course of my M.Div., I looked up and noticed for the first time the decorative metal flowers on the rooftop. Reaching to the heavens, all lined up like a choir, they offer a glimpse of  beauty and whimsy, lightness really, along the roofline of the solid serious stones of academia and theology that comprise the building itself. They are so high up they go unnoticed by those running up the stairs late for a lecture, or sitting, as I was, waiting for a friend to join me for the Chapel service. 

Perhaps they serve an architectural function but I couldn’t readily determine what it might be, and so choose to see them as “beauty extended.”  

In our very busy lives, where might we look to see glimpses of beauty, love, grace and mercy extended beyond our expectations?


Where might we notice invitations to “lightness” and whimsy in the weighty matters of our lives? 


How does God draw your eyes and your heart to see something in a new way? 

These are Easter questions for Easter people!  We who proclaim that God raised Jesus from the dead are open to being surprised over and over again.  Our faith is a faith of hope for new life in all situations, for “death is conquered, we are free, Christ has won the victory.”  How are you embracing this Easter news with hope this year?


Poet Phillip Booth, in his poem “Hope” suggests that we might pray for God to “extend” us.  I hear this as a prayer not simply for growth, but for an increased capacity to notice, as with the image of the metal flowers on the roofline.  What is God extending in you this Easter season?   Your compassion? Your faith and trust in God’s goodness and mercy? Your love and respect for yourself? Your willingness to take risks on behalf of the Gospel? 

Let us pray for ourselves and for one another that God will extend us in healing and hopeful ways.  Amen. 


Old spirit, in and beyond me,

keep and extend me. Amid strangers

friends, great trees and big seas breaking,

let love move me. Let me hear the whole music,

see clear, reach deep. Open me to find due words,

that I may shape them to plowshares of my own making.

After such luck, however late, give me to give to

the oldest dance… Then to good sleep,

and - if it happens - glad waking.

Philip Booth (1925-2007) wrote ten collections of poetry. He was the recipient of Guggenheim, Rockefeller and NEA Fellowships.

Your sister in Christ, 


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