The Oasis - October 16, 2019
Author: Rev. Estelle Margarones
October 16, 2019
Rev. Estelle Margarones
In the church office, there's a credenza that holds various historical artifacts including a silver-plated tea urn that dates back to the 1890's. It is an ornate reminder of yesteryear. A little card tells us that it was used for 20th century 'receptions after worship’, but beyond that, we know little.
Whose hands once held this urn? Were they the hands of a Deacon who is now lays in perpetual rest behind the church? Whose heart and soul were warmed sipping tea at the church on a blustery winter day? Could it have been a family member or someone who once lived in your neighborhood? What festivities called for the urn to be used? Did it take a place of honor on an attractively-set table to welcome a beloved pastor’s first child? Did the ladies of the church use it to celebrate the 19th Amendment?
Were the women wearing hats; the men pocket watches; and the children scratchy wool socks when this tea urn sat upon a table in Fellowship Hall so long ago? Had the congregation sung, "How Great Thou Art" or "Joyful Joyful We Adore Thee" as a closing hymn before sipping tea from delicate china cups--tea that flowed freely from a quadruple-plated spout? The cherub and dragonfly made immortal on the urn have now been in flight for over a hundred years. This tea urn, which once held a fragrant blend warmed by a candle so long ago, gives us only a glimpse into the past.
What fascinates me most about this urn is that it is a lasting physical reminder of our forebears. It awakens a sense of connection to people we will not meet in this lifetime. It is enduring and symbolic of the continuum of the life of this church. We are a part of a larger whole that spans centuries!
Over the years, we have experienced joys and faced challenges. In hope and heartbreak, God has been with us. God is steadfastly beside each of us-even now. When you face a time of doubt, fear, or worry; stand on the rock of your faith. It will remain firm and solid! A hymn comes to mind, “O God, our help in ages past, our hope for years to come, our shelter from the stormy blast, and our eternal home. Under the shadow of thy throne, still may we dwell secure; sufficient is thine arm alone, and our defense is sure.”
The tea urn inspired a look backward. In turn, I began to look forward. Perhaps you’ve heard the quote, “As you are now, so once was I. As I am now, so shall you be.” While it may be odd to think of ourselves in the past tense while we’re firmly ensconced in the present, it does inspire thoughts of legacy. The pages of the future are yet unwritten. What will your story be? What will our collective story be? I have no doubt that God has great things in mind. All things are possible with God!
From Natasha Beddingfield’s “Unwritten”: Today is where your book begins. Feel the rain on your skin—no one else can feel it for you--only you can let it in. No one else (no one else) can speak the words on your lips. Drench yourself in words unspoken. Live your life with arms wide open. Today is where your book begins. The rest is still unwritten…