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Pastor's Monthly Newsletter Message

October 2009

Dear Friends,

As surely as night follows day and every dawn breaks forth into the dark, season follows season; and we enter now anew into a many-splendored autumnal realm of lush foliage on stately trees, of crimsons and golds and reds and yellows against an azure sky, of the intoxicating aromas of burning leaves in a pyramidal pyre. Another Autumn.  More than any other season, Autumn excites the inevitable deja vu, arouses the fleeting nostalgia that transports us back to the mesmerizing days of yore, recreates our yearning for a former warmth, a previous joy, a prior hearth.  Another Autumn.  In all the circling years, we have been there before.   In this circling year, we want to be there again.

At the risk of appearing frivolous, I ask you to remember that one of the events that recurs at this time every year—and has for decades now—is the unabashed posture Linus assumes every Halloween in the pumpkin patch, waiting expectantly for the Great Pumpkin.  Every year he chooses the most sincere pumpkin patch and writes a letter to the Great Pumpkin: “Dear Great Pumpkin, I’m looking forward to your arrival on Halloween night.  I hope you bring me lots of presents.”  All of the Peanuts gang think Linus is crazy.  Charlie Brown’s sister Sally, however, has a fascination with the Great Pumpkin and forfeits Tricks and Treats as well as Violet’s Halloween Party in order to wait with Linus for the Great Pumpkin.  As you recall, the Great Pumpkin never comes.

While it seems obvious that the Great Pumpkin has its parallel and forerunner in Santa Claus, it may be that the parallel is much too obvious.  Some theologians would find the essential meaning of Linus’ waiting as being representative of our waiting for the Messiah, that is, our waiting for God to come to us in his Christ.  The recurring Great Pumpkin episode sounds a note of familiarity with Samuel Becket’s Waiting for Godot (Waiting for God).  Godot never comes; yet the main characters are always expectant.

Given our identity as Christians, we can safely say that we are forever seeking an encounter with God, much like the psalmist of old: As a deer longs for flowing streams, so longs my soul for thee, O God. My soul thirsts for God, for the living God.  (Psalm 42:1-2)   In direct contrast to the Great Pumpkin and to Godot, however, God is the God of action, who actually comes to us, encounters us, reveals himself to us, redeems us, restores us, and offers us abundant life.

May God intersect with us in our particular pumpkin patch.  As he is the God of action, may he inspire us to put our faith into action.  May he use us to lighten the dark corners of the community where we live.   Were we given the honor of serving Christ as instruments of his peace, no richer gift could Autumn pour out from her lavish horn. *                  

Yours in Christ, faithfully and gratefully,

Calvin C. Wilson