If you’ve never read Wendell Berry’s poem, Manifesto: The Mad Farmer Liberation Front, you won’t know how much Becca Stevens’ ministry “practices resurrection” and embodies that nonsensical love for the world and its people that so characterizes Jesus’ own ministry. (Take a moment to read the poem by clicking the link above: you won’t regret it.)
Registration for The Big Class: A Simple Path to a Deeper Spiritual Life opens today; the free course runs March 22 – April 5. We’re thrilled to be offering this course free to the world and are grateful to our sponsors, The Episcopal Church, Trinity Wall Street, Church Publishing, and Forward Movement. Over four lessons, Becca shares the lessons and insights she’s gained in her ministry and offers wisdom on journeying into a deeper spiritual life. (Click here for more information or to register.)
But the point of the Berry’s poem — and Becca Stevens’ ministry — is that living a spiritual life and doing the work of Christ is simple: love God, love God’s creation and God’s people, celebrate Jesus’ power to redeem, recreate, refresh, resurrect. Becca, through her various ministries and through Thistle Farms, has seen death — living death — but has also witnessed resurrection. By paying attention, loving and celebrating what the world would see as wasted or maimed or undeserving of attention and service, Becca’s ministry has seen the power of new life, of what was dead becoming new again and flowering in a harvest that is much larger than we may ever know.
Say that your main crop is the forest
that you did not plant,
that you will not live to harvest.
Say that the leaves are harvested
when they have rotted into the mold.
Call that profit. Prophesy such returns.
Put your faith in the two inches of humus
that will build under the trees
every thousand years.
Listen to carrion — put your ear
close, and hear the faint chattering
of the songs that are to come.
Expect the end of the world. Laugh.
Laughter is immeasurable. Be joyful
though you have considered all the facts.
In The Big Class, Becca invites us to a similar way of viewing the world, and reminds us not to worry about forging some deep spiritual path: just show up, get your hands dirty, dig in the soil God has given you to work with, and the new life will come. We hope you’ll join us in this mission and share it with anyone who may be longing for new life.