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Nature is the teacher of art.

Natura artis magistra, is an old saying.

What art does nature teach us?

Of old one knew the art of living and of dying: ars vivendi and ars morendi.

But above all, nature teaches us the art of living IN dying.

What for us humans is often a battle of life and death is self-evident for nature.  Unceasingly, she teaches us: no life is possible without death.  Or, in the words of a well-known author: Death is the trick of nature, to have much life.*

Look with how much apparent ease a tree brings forth its blossoms at this time of the year, and how obviously and effortlessly it drops its wealth of flowers in the wind, so that all the color and scent has passed away in a few days.  Would we humans ever succeed in dropping everything that has flourished in our lives with such ease and letting it pass away—in the realization that only that which dies can produce fruit?  If there is one place where the secret of life and life out of death comes to appearance, it surely is nature.

That is what the altar prayer of Easter time wants to tell us: the earth itself has become luminous.  Spirit-shining sun power streams through the earth.

By His death and resurrection, the germ was laid in the dying earth existence for a new earth.  And we begin to share in His resurrection if we become pupils of the master of art, nature.  She teaches us how in every tree, bush, and plant new life is born from death.

Thus Christ teaches us how from His death, if one day we die in Christ, resurrection is born.

-Rev. Bastiaan Baan, April 15, 2024


* Johann Wolfgang Goethe, Der Tod ist der Kunstgriff der Natur, viel Leben zu haben.

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