First Presbyterian Church

       601 South Texas     P.O. Box 24

Mercedes, TX  78570

  fpcmercedes.org               fpcmercedes@att.net

Pastor:  Esther Hughes, CLP

August 2018

 The Thing with Feathers

"Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen." - Hebrews 11:1

I read this devotional earlier in the month and wanted to share it.  It was written by Rev. Talitha Arnold.   In it she wrote that a rooster lives a few houses down from her house in Santa Fe. Her subdivision isn't zoned for chickens, but he was apparently "grandfeathered" in.

This rooster thinks the sunrise is his sole responsibility. Long before there's a hint of light, he starts his morning crow. It may be dark as midnight, but he heralds the dawn.

"Hope is the thing with feathers," wrote Emily Dickinson, "that perches in the soul, and sings the tune without the words, and never stops at all." She probably had her own neighborhood rooster.

She went on to write that she thought the author of the Letter to the Hebrews did, too. For the early Christians, life under the Roman Empire was as dark as a moonless Santa Fe night. Still the author proclaimed: "Faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen." Like our neighborhood rooster, the author affirmed God's light, even when no one could see it.

As the rooster continues his song in the night, other birds join in, until an entire chorus of trills and warbles proclaim the blessing of a new day and new light. In the same way, the Letter to the Hebrews affirmed we are surrounded by "a great cloud of witnesses," people of faith who have awakened to God's call to new life and hope. When one person (or one rooster) proclaims the light that shines in the darkness, others find the courage to do the same.

Even in the darkest of times, God's light is coming. That's what the ancient Christian author promised. It's what the neighborhood rooster reminds me of every morning (whether she believes it or not).  This was and is a reassuring message, that even though things do seem dark, and we keep trying to make sense of it all.  There is hope that the light of Christ will shine though.  There is hope for those who are having life changes, there are those who are facing death, there are those who are starting a new school year.  God is faithful in all.

May we know the light is there, and may we shine the light to others.

Blessings to our children and teachers, as they start a new year.

In Christ, Esther