This morning I got up before sunrise to watch the full moon’s slow descent into the waters of the Pacific, framed by a few clouds illuminated in its own reflected light shimmering off the waves. What is it about a big chunk of space rock shining in the night sky with a light not its own that is so powerfully mystical? Simple laws of physics describe it all, so there is no mystery, but the mystical remains, untouched by science, and it bespeaks of the holy. So too with the readings from Mark’s gospel for Morning Prayer today. There is nothing hidden that will not be disclosed, nothing secret that will not come to light. And yet there remains the mystical awe at watching the seed grow into something of magnificent natural beauty, the mystical awe at recalling the small and insignificant acts of God that turn the entire universe in new directions – even through the small and insignificant work of small and insignificant people.
Each month a small band of well meaning (and rather fundamentalist) clergy gather to pray, earnestly pray, for something big to happen in our valley, for the power of the Holy Spirit to rush in like a mighty wind to chase out the devil, that a revitalized holiness might grow in its place. I think they need to spend more time looking at the moon and wondering about Mark’s record of Jesus’ sayings. As it is, I’m afraid they will become discouraged and figure the devil has too firm a grasp on the sinful people of our valley. They will have failed to see the reflected light of Christ shining in dark places, God’s word being revealed in new ways with new words, the seeds growing, one-by-one, into a rich, abundant harvest, and many small works by persons of no real standing building foundations for big things to follow.