A reflection from The Rev. Lynn White, Priest Associate

Happy New Year!

Did you know that there are at least 45,700 spider species that are found on every continent except Antarctica? Most of us are aware of spiders as those arthropods who spin webs and sometimes dangle from the silk-like threads that they produce. However, spiders are enormously more differentiated than humans.  

I wager you did not know this. I read a fascinating article in The Economist recently. I learned that there is a spider, the Toxeus magnus, that looks like an ant and behaves like a mammal. The mother exudes a liquid which is a rich source of nutrients and contains four times as much protein as does cow’s milk. At first, the mother deposits fluid in droplets around the nest, from which the young spiders drink. After that, until they are about 40 days old, the young are suckled. Who would have guessed that a creepy crawly spider could look like an ant and behave like a mammal?!

Rainer Maria Rilke writes, “And now let us welcome the new year, full of things that have never been.” As we are launched into 2019, the tangled web of possibilities is endless. Even in our smaller world of St. Ann’s, we have new leadership in The Rev. Scott Zaucha and already can see changes that are a foretaste of things to come in our church home. Beyond our church, might a Wall be built across our southern border? Might we find life on the other side of the moon? Closer to home, might a solar farm be built in our midst? 

Scripture doesn’t seem to help illuminate us about what we might expect. On the one hand, Ecclesiastes 1:9 says that “there is nothing new under the sun.” Spider-like arachnoids were present 386 million years ago! The T. magnus spider is not just now looking like an ant or acting like a mammal, but we have just discovered it to be so. On the other hand, in Revelations 21:5, God is reported to have said, “See, I am making all things new.”

My sense is that what is new is our continuous discovery of things that God has already created. Beyond the sticky web of everyday conundrums and busyness, we also have a direct line that will lead us to newness, to wholeness.  Our prayer for the New Year might be for God to give us the eyes to see, the mind to discern, and the heart to love what God has provided for us all along; the direct path to Him.  If we work on these things, we have the possibility to be awed and amazed at the wonder of the world and omnipotence of God’s love, creativity, and new life.

To God be the glory!