Five Minutes on Friday #46


“The world for which you have been so carefully prepared is being taken away from you by the grace of God.”     [Walter Brueggemann]  



‘One day I awoke a bit early, in order to get on my bicycle and go collect twigs.  I do this sort of nature errand as a low-cost form of personal entertainment.  I was particularly interested in apple wood as it gives off a great smell.  I would bike along, picking up good pieces of wood, filling my bike basket.  I realized I was ritualizing an act of hope…. I was making pictures of the world I wanted.  Did my activity resolve the energy crisis or stop the melting of the ice cap?  I think not!  It did, however, give me a way to touch the prophetic promise of God in Joel.’

The Lord is about to do great things!
21 Don’t fear, fertile land;
    rejoice and be glad,
    for the Lord is about to do great things!
22 Don’t be afraid, animals of the field,
        for the meadows of the wilderness will turn green;
    the tree will bear its fruit;
        the fig tree and grapevine will give their full yield. 

23 Children of Zion,
        rejoice and be glad in the Lord your God,
    because he will give you the early rain                                                  

as a sign of righteousness….               [Joel 2]

[Donna Schaper pastors Judson Memorial Church in New York city] 



In Great Britain, lovely, summerlike days that occur around October 18 are called Saint Luke’s Little Summer in honor of the saint’s feast day. Around this time, Saint Luke’s feast day, there is a brief period of calm, dry weather. Of course, it’s difficult for us to generalize today across the vast continent of North America, but the temperature is usually mild and the leaf colors are turning a gorgeous color. It’s a good time for a brief vacation or visit to a park. In Venice, Italy, they say: “San Luca, El ton va te la zuca” (Pumpkins go stale on St Luke’s Day) but here they are ready for pies and carving.  Saint Luke is the patron saint of physicians and surgeons so it seems only fitting that the good doctor give us these calm days. In olden days, St. Luke’s Day did not receive as much attention in the secular world as St. John’s Day (June 24) and Michaelmas (September 29), so it was to keep from being forgotten that St. Luke presented us with some golden days to cherish before the coming of winter, or so the story goes.   [Northumbria Community]


SUNDAY – Joel 2.18, 21-29

As I write this, communities in B.C. are experiencing severe drought.  Many areas are at Level 5 conditions which means “they are exceptionally dry and adverse impacts to the socio-economic and ecosystem values are almost certain.  All efforts should be made to conserve water and protect critical environmental flows.”

In Joel’s day it was devastating plagues of locusts that inundated the land ruining crops and livliehoods.  The land, the creatures, and humans all experienced a deep sense of loss over the devastation.  In a vivid phrase, Joel writes that ‘The fields are devastated, the soil weeps…’  (1.10a).   

For Reflection 

What spiritual devastation has impacted your life?

Where do you see hope/Good News in the text?

How is our health and well-being tied up with that of the land and our fellow creatures?   ‘I am seeking for a city’ 



Great soaring Spirit,                                                                  

sweeping in uncharted flight                                                            

across the bounds of time and space,                                                  

you fill the outflung galaxies                                                                 

and move through earth’s long centuries                                                      

with aching, mending, dancing grace.   [Brian Wren]