Never has the saying ‘April showers bring May flowers’ been so true!
Rainfall records across the Pacific Northwest are being smashed with record precipitation. Rain—with its fresh water to feed the earth and swell the rivers—has long been essential to our natural world. Water as a source of life shows up in Genesis where four great rivers flowed from Eden across the Levant, making life possible for God’s beloved children far and wide. And the waters of the river of Life in Revelation flows through the new Jerusalem feeding again the twelve tribes which are depicted now as fertile healthy trees full of fruit! Water is life.
Water is life, but water can also be inconvenient and the current unstoppable deluge of rain has, for some, been less of a blessing than we might wish. It is hard to feel grateful for rain when so much of it causes flooding and landslides and disruption to freeway and rail travel. Not to mention I have been wanting to paint my deck for six weeks and all I need to do that is three dry days in a row—which hasn’t happened yet!
Yet, this still being the Easter season, I am determined to resurrect my gratitude for rain. I remember still with wonder the loving and sacred Water Ceremony at the Standing Rock Prayer and Protector Camp, how the clean, herb infused water poured over my palm and how good it tasted. In the spirit of this awe and with gratitude, I turn to the psalms to reflect on the rainy wet blessings of April and stir my heart in my joy for the blooms of May.
You showered down abundant rain, God; when the Earth grew parched and dry, you restored it yourself, and your creatures settled in it. In your goodness, God, you provided for the poor.
Psalm 68:9-10 (CEB) (VOICE)
Open your mouths with thanks! Strum the harp in unending praise to our God, who blankets the heavens with clouds, sends rain to water the thirsty earth, and makes the mountains sprout green grass. God’s open hand feeds all the animals and scatters seed to nestlings when they cry. Psalm 147:7-9 (CEB)(VOICE)
May the people fear you for as long as the sun shines, and as long as the moon rises in the night sky, throughout the generations. May the king be like the refreshing rains, which fall upon fields of freshly mown grass—like showers that cool and nourish the earth.
Psalm 72:5-6 (VOICE)
Those who are devoted to God will flourish like budding date-palm trees; they will grow strong and tall like cedars in Lebanon. Those planted in the house of the Eternal will thrive in the courts of our God. They will bear fruit into old age; even in winter, they will be green and full of sap.
Psalm 92:12-14 (VOICE)
You visit the earth and make it abundant, enriching it greatly by God’s stream, full of water. You are the gentle equalizer: soaking the furrows, smoothing soil’s ridges, Softening sun-baked earth with generous showers, blessing the fruit of the ground. You crown the year with a fruitful harvest; the paths are worn down by carts overflowing and dripping with unstoppable growth.
Psalm 65:9-11 (CEB)(VOICE)
I hope you will take some time this month to reflect on the psalms as they provide words to describe the blessings of this good Earth and its good rain. The rain may at times seem tedious, yet it comes from heaven above to soak the soil, fill the rivers, and bring Life to all creation.
Praise God! For inside and outside, in our homes, our hearts and in our church, the soil is being nourished. Good things are growing. Amen.
Blessings to each and all of you,