Marine United Church of Christ

Pastor Phil

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  • To Contact Pastor Phil, email address at pastorphil@marineucc .org
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  • Dear Friends,

    Zlata Filipovic, like many other eleven year-olds, kept a diary. One July day in 1991 she wrote this: "We picked cherries off the tree in the yard and ate them all up. We had watched it blossom and its small green fruits slowly turn red and now here we were eating them. Oh, you're a wonderful cherry tree!"

    You may have an experience this July something like Zlata's but it probably won't be exactly like Zlata's. For Zlata, you see, lived in the midst of war-torn Sarajevo. She goes on to add in her diary, "I miss fruit a lot. In these days of war, there is no basic food or any of the other things a person needs, and there is no fruit. But now I can say that I ate myself silly on cherries."

    Is it wisdom that allows an eleven year-old to experience joy in something as simple as cherries in the midst of brutality and carnage? If so, is it a wisdom we sometimes lose as we age? Is this something like what Jesus had in mind when he spoke about the need to be like a child if we hoped to enter the kingdom of God? We often assume Jesus was referring to some kingdom we enter in the next life, but Jesus spoke of the kingdom as something other than pie-in-the-sky when we die; he spoke of it as a present reality for those with the eyes to see it.

    May God grant us all the wisdom of Zlata. And may God grant us the strength and courage to work for a world where fruit for children is so commonplace as to go unreported.

    Peace, Phil

    Marine United Church of Christ ☀  111 N. Center  ☀  P.O. Box 396  ☀  Marine, Il    62061