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May Day-in-the-Fields

News St Martin – Talking Points

Sunday 5 May 2013

One interesting element to being married to a half Lithuanian American is that I learn all sorts of little known facts.  For example, did you know that Lithuania was the last part of Europe to convert from Paganism to Christianity?

The pagan rites of spring were a key feature for our pre-Christian ancestors.  What fascinates me is wondering what sort of discussions went on in the early Church as to whether to take them on in some way or reject them completely.  It’s clear that in lots of places, the Church skilfully adapted old traditions and made them part of the Christian Year.

With the eagerly awaited Spring all around us, it’s easy to see why.  There is surely something within us that rejoices when the trees come in to leaf.  For those of us with a tiny patch of earth or a window box, it’s the time to sow and watch carefully for new seedlings to nurture.  If we are struggling to understand the Resurrection, these tiny signs can be a helpful reminder that God gives us new life all the time.

We at St Martin’s were challenged to think about God’s Creation in new ways at our Earth Day event on 22 April.  It’s easy to feel completely paralysed in the face of irreversible changes that are already happening to sea levels, our weather patterns and therefore the lives of millions of people around the world.  What good can we do as just one congregation in a complex city?

I don’t know.  But I suspect part of it might have something to do with us finding new (old) ways to appreciate the miracle that is the tiny seed that grows into a plant that can feed and sustain us.

Sophie Tyler