From the Pastor’s Desk – May, 2013


There is a certain freedom radiating from this picture of walkers not needed for a time. I took the shot during the Lunchtime Recital featuring Glenn Swann on the Japanese shakuhachi. During the following meal, the residents of Spring Hills did not need these walkers.

Faith can give us an inner freedom like this. Encountering the sovereignty of God, we can become content with the coming and passing of life and the limits we experience as created beings. In the image of the shakuhachi flute, everything began with a blade of grass. It developed into a sturdy stem of bamboo. From there, it was turned into a flute. The flute was transformed into music. The music, finally, morphed into thoughts and feelings deep within our souls.

The Prophet Isaiah once said, “The grass withers, the flower fades; but the Word of our God will stand forever.” (Isaiah 40:8; compare Psalm 119:89) A modern person without faith affiliation may wonder why a statement like this is not discouraging for the believer. Does it not leave everything transitory but God?

But our Lord Jesus Christ did not see it that way. According to him, a prophet’s word like this only assures us of God’s care. In his famous Sermon on the Mount he therefore said, “If God so clothes the grass of the field, which is alive today and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will he not much more clothe you – you of little faith?” (Matthew 6:30)

And so when I see the walkers parked empty for a time I recognize the freedom inherent in our faith. Yes, we are transient guests on this earth. But God gives us space to each in our time. And God cares, so that each of us can play a part in this ever evolving world. Go then, and enjoy this special month of May!

With fond wishes,
Pastor Hartmut

About Rev. Dr. Hartmut Kramer-Mills

Hartmut Kramer-Mills, a native of Jena, Germany, began his theological education at Heidelberg University. After the Middle Exam in 1986 he received a scholarship from the World Alliance of Reformed Churches for McCormick Theological Seminary in Chicago. He graduated from McCormick with a Master of Divinity in 1988. He graduated from Marburg University in Germany with the Ecclesiastical Exam in 1990, and received a Dr. theol. from Greifswald University, Germany, in 1997. From 1990 to 1991 he was vicar at St. Wenzel in Naumburg, Germany. He was ordained minister of word and sacrament in 1993 through the Protestant Church of the Church Province of Saxony. From 1993 to 1998 he served as assistant pastor in Stoessen, Goerschen, and Rathewitz, Germany. At the same time he was lecturer for Church History at Erfurt College in Germany. From 1999 to 2000 he served the Spotswood Reformed Church in New Jersey as interim pastor. Since 2000 he and his wife serve the First Reformed Church in New Brunswick, New Jersey, as co-pastors.
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