Life, Like Weeds, is Everywhere

Contributing Writer
Pastor Shawn Hannon
Hope Lutheran Church, Arcade, NY

Spring is that time of year where life starts to appear everywhere. Trees bud and flower. Landscapes, formerly brown and barren, begin to fill in with bright greens and yellows. Flowers break forth cold earth. But, and I assume I am not the only one with this happening, sometimes life does not just appear where we expect it in the spring, but places it doesn’t belong as well.

As I write this it is the middle of April, and I feel like I have already lost the battle against the weeds in my patio. Against every odd, they are everywhere. Despite removing the sod and top soil. Despite landscaping fabrics and 4” of crushed stone. Despite pavers locked with Sakrete cementing grout (guaranteed to guard against weeds! Or so they say). The weeds have found a way.

As we continue in these weeks of Easter, while I’m somewhat annoyed at the weeds, I am also in awe of their resilience. And as I think about Easter, I am reminded that that is the power of God: Life finds a way. Despite all obstacles and against all odds. Even death, Easter reminds us, cannot stop life. Just consider the empty tomb.

In truth God has been demonstrating that for us through creation since the beginning of time. From the miracle of creation itself to the shocking reminder that life has found a way in some of the most barren and extreme climates on earth. A quick look at where scientists have found life will reveal that no matter how hot or cold, how high or low, how dry or how deep you look, you can find living things.

Easter reminds us that life has even defeated death, and that life has gone forth from the tomb and penetrated every part of our lives. And if life has defeated the grave, then surely life is at work in every other desperate and dark place we experience as well—be it depression, poverty, illness, unemployment, guilt, shame, addiction, loneliness, anxiousness, fearfulness, or anything else. God’s life is like a weed—it cannot be stopped, and death has already lost the battle to it.

As life continues to spring forth from the earth, may we be equally on the lookout for all the ways God’s life continues to spring forth in our lives—in all the places and ways we expect, and in last places we would imagine.

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Pastor Shawn is a 2010 graduate of the Lutheran Theological Southern Seminary in Columbia, South Carolina, and he began his call at Hope Lutheran Church, Arcade NY that summer. While he spent four years learning and serving churches in South and North Carolina, as a Jamestown, NY native, Western New York has always been home. He is glad to be here. Pastor Shawn and his wife Carol Hannon met while attending SUNY Geneseo in the mid-2000s. They have enjoyed making their home together in Arcade with their daughters Quinn and Perry.   Pastor Shawn has a background in youth and outdoor ministry. He is a former camper and staff person at Lake Chautauqua Lutheran Center in Bemus Point, NY. He has also served camps in urban settings and oversees in Madagascar. In seminary he was recognized for gifts in Greek and New Testament, and in his senior year was recognized with awards in both Preaching and Biblical Studies. Pastor Shawn continues to emphasize the youth in his ministry, but not simply because they are the future church, but because they are the church of today.  He also enjoys working on service projects, and takes the role of planning meaningful and engaging worship seriously.  He loves helping people find ways to put their passion and energy to work making their community and other people’s worlds a better place. When he is not working at church, Shawn enjoys remodeling and construction projects around his family’s home.  But as busy as he gets, PS always has time for a quick nine (okay, 18) on the golf course. He enjoys playing sports of all kinds and fiddling with his guitar.