Est. 1896

T. 718.426.5997

sunnychurch@verizon.net

Sunnyside Reformed Church

A Christian Community Church Making Christ Known Through Word & Deed

From the Pastor's Desk Rev. Neil Margetson

Fall 2015, NM

 

It’s fall again. Cold snap the other night. Almost Thanksgiving as I write. Been getting dark earlier. Maybe it’s the early darkness that’s responsible for the autumnal feeling of mystery. Why so many scary stories happen in these months. What I feel most powerfully is a palpable sense of nostalgia. No other season is more given over to remembrance of things past.

 

When I think of my childhood at this time of year, what I think of first is school. New notebooks...big or small?...loose leaf or hardcover?...new pens and pencils and new pencil boxes...new rulers...compass...erasers. New textbooks. What room am I in this year? Who’s your teacher? Who’s in your class? Where are my friends? School always had such a distinctive smell. A smell composed of steam pipes, industrial strength cleaners, sawdust and school custodians.

 

Isn’t all nostalgia tinged with regret? I think it is. At least it is for me. The choices we make are usually forever, and even small decisions can make a big difference. No chance to go back and do things over - all one can do is accept, sometimes cry and move on. So we live with regret. And that is a hard thing to live with. I wonder if God ever feels regret? I’m pretty sure Jesus did. But Jesus, though God’s Son, was human. What of Godself? Does God regret making us as we are? Giving us free will? Allowing us to roam freely in Paradise? Now that it appears we have done irreparable harm to Paradise, what does God think? Is there regret? And if this is, as many people think, the autumn of the human race, are the spirits restless? Do they too feel regret for the choices they made?

 

Pretty big questions for an autumn day. Painful reminiscences for a Pastoral Message. Yes, that is true. But we must not allow ourselves to live either in denial or in fear. Only by facing the truth and living by it can one hope to escape from the cycle of regret. What I recognize today in all of my nostalgia is love. Love. Love for the people and the places that are gone now. Love for what was, is and might have been. Love for God who made all of it, and love for The Spirit that animates it. For there is one realization that I return to again and again as I go through my life...I would not have missed being here for anything.

 

No matter how difficult and confusing life can be, I am grateful to have lived. I cannot pretend to understand this thing we’re all caught up in. But I am grateful that I was here. Grateful to have witnessed. Grateful to have suffered. Grateful to have loved. No...I would not have missed being here for anything in this universe or the next.

 

Blessings – Pastor Neil

Organized in 1986, the Sunnyside Reformed Church is a proud member congregation of the

Reformed Church of America

Sunnyside Reformed Church

48-03 Skillman Avenue

Sunnyside, N.Y. 11104

 

T. 718.426.5997

sunnychurch@verizon.net

 

A Christian Community Church Making Christ Known Through Word & Deed

 

Est. 1896