The end of this month marks ten years since Carol and I closed on our dream home overlooking the beautiful Great South Bay. At that time, little did we know that, thanks to an “Act of God” known as Super Storm Sandy, a four-foot storm surge would penetrate and destroy the home’s vital infrastructure, major appliances, and the personal contents that were still in their moving boxes before we even made our first mortgage payment. Adding insult to injury, our welcome to the community included thieves looting jewelry and televisions in the darkness in the wake of the disaster.
Our Christian faith reminds us of the power of death and resurrection. Christ gives us hope in rebirth. St. Paul says, “So if anyone is in Christ, there is a new creation: everything old has passed away; see everything has become new!” (2 Corinthians 5:17). As we mourned the loss of our brand-new home, we took solace in its rebuilding and persevered through the loss and hardship.
The following spring, while reconstruction throughout the neighborhood was taking place (and, sadly, is still underway for many), new feathered neighbors moved in directly across the street. They served as a sign of new life and hope. Like the dove with a plucked olive leaf returning to Noah and the ark, the new nest of ospreys brought us hope for new life.
Each morning’s sunrise greets me with a view of my feathered friends’ latest adventures of airborne flight. While I was never much of a bird watcher, I have become intrigued by witnessing the day’s catch embraced in talons, headed for delivery to the anxiously awaiting offspring nesting high above a basketball court along the dock and shoreline. My routine was disrupted on Tuesday when I awoke to find my neighbors absent, likely not to be seen again until the warmth of spring. Over the years, I have come to understand that their migration, probably to South America (my curious research tells me), always takes place in the middle of this month. Now, I take their adieu as a sign of the season’s change ahead. Yet, I also await their springtime return as another sign of hope: death and resurrection.
Like every Sunday, we celebrate rebirth and hope, the gift of the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Please join us on Sunday, September 18th. We gather at 8:00 AM for a half-hour outdoor worship service (weather permitting), at 10:15 AM for traditional worship, and at 6:00 PM for Taizé worship.