In Germany, May Day (Der Erste Mai, Tag der Arbeit), is an ancient festival to welcome the spring weather and to drive away evil.
Many people can remember when May baskets mysteriously appeared on the door step on May 1, filled with spring flowers, sometimes a special homemade treat, and always accompanied by a child hiding nearby to see what the receiver’s reaction would be. My grandmother was so wonderful at demonstrating surprise and joy at receiving the basket, and it would be placed on the table for everyone to see and wonder “who could have given such a special treat?”
Sadly, those days seem to have melted into different traditions and an accelerating occurrence of crime and violence in our society. We sometimes wonder if we will ever live in peace and simple happiness again. My own family has been shaken by the sudden disappearance of my teen grandson who continues to be missing without any trace of his whereabouts or safety for a month now. Each day in the news we read about terrorism, traumatic events; and the expressions of grief, fear anxiety and depression expressed by those who are involved in these events.
God’s word is the ultimate and lasting antidote for human anxiety and suffering, be it terrorism, armed conflict, family difficulties, fear and/or anxiety. In the Psalms, we are encouraged to fear no evil or any evil persons (23:4; 37:1; 91:5). Also, throughout the Bible, God comforts us with his certain promises of His protection and love for us (Isaiah 54:10; Psalm 46; Romans 5:1-5; Hebrews 15:5-6; 1 Peter 2:9-10).
Next week I will share some simple helps we can put into practice to respond to the feelings these events can create, and also a bit more about PTSD symptoms that these events can cause.
Meanwhile, I pray that each of you will find the strength, peace, and joy our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ gives to each of us this day and everyday. We come to worship and celebrate His presence in our life, and we leave with a “full May basket” of His strength and Peace.
The Peace and Joy of God be with you all,
Cynthia Rutan, RN, Parish Nurse at Peace