The Blessings of the Boundary Waters

Katie-Snipes-LancasterDear Friends,

God writes the Gospel, not in the Bible alone, but on the trees and flowers and clouds and stars.  Silvi and I are about to depart Chicagoland with eighteen high school freshmen, entering Minnesota’s Boundary Waters Canoe Area wilderness, the depth and beauty of God’s creation.

The writer of Psalm 8 must have experienced something similar, because the Psalmist writes “When I look to the heavens, the works of your fingers, the moon and stars that you have established… O Lord, our God, how majestic is your name in all the earth!” (vs 3 & 9)

As we depart for our trip, may we watch for the blessing of the wilderness—silence and solitude, a sense of awe and gratitude.  We drink deeply of the water, face the light of the sun, experience the warmth of campfire, and feel our very breath in our lungs.
We anticipate the blessing of community—the laughter, friendship, and sense of home that comes from shared experience.  May we welcome the blessings, and offer up our prayers for all this and more.

Pray that we might receive these, the blessings of the Boundary Waters.  That we might recognize the power of traveling under your own power with the aid of ancient and elegantly simple tools—the canoe, the paddle, a pair of boots—remembering that someone traveled this way thousands of years ago, and someone may be doing the same a thousand years from now.

In a world where change seems the only constant, pray that we might receive the blessings of God’s creation that binds all of us together.  As we enter the wilderness, living with the essentials and little more, pray that we might learn that all we really need is to be safe, fed, clothed, sheltered, and challenged.

Reverend Katie Snipes Lancaster, Associate Minister for Children and Youth