Welcome to the Green Season, the longest season in the church calendar. This time has other names as well: Pentecost Season, because it begins on Pentecost Sunday, and Ordinary Time, for being “ordinal,” or numbered. The weeks between Pentecost Sunday and the first Sunday of Advent are referred to by number — the first Sunday after Pentecost, the second Sunday after Pentecost, and so on. It’s called the Green Season for its green liturgical color and themes of new life and growth.
In some traditions, the weeks between Epiphany and Ash Wednesday are included in the Green Season.
A Meditation for the Green Season
But Moses said to God, “If I come to the Israelites and say to them, ‘The God of your ancestors has sent me to you,’ and they ask me, ‘What is his name?’ what shall I say to them?”
God said to Moses, “I WILL BE WHAT I WILL BE.” (*)—Exodus 3:13-14
Lichen and moss growing willy-nilly from a rotting fence post, topped by a purple mushroom — the very image of abundant life and the spirit of surprise in God’s unfolding creation.
The fence sits on the edge of our land. The rough-hewn posts, planted by our neighbor many years before we moved here, take on greater life season by season. One summer, a mushroom sprung up and stuck around for weeks. I admired it during a number of early morning walks before taking its picture. The 4×6 snapshot turned out pretty good, so I ordered an enlargement for framing.
By the time the print came back from the photo shop, the mushroom was long gone from our neighbor’s fence post. I was happy to see it again up close in the photograph.
Then I noticed that in the enlargement, a little white dot on the mushroom’s crown — I’d never even been aware of it on the living mushroom — had taken hazy shape. I peered at the photo, blinked, looked closer.
Could a second mushroom be growing out of the first?
When I showed the picture to my spiritual director and pointed out the tiny umbrella shape, she exclaimed with delight, “Wonderful! A virgin birth!”
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(*) God’s answer to Moses is an early form of the Hebrew verb “to be” that is sometimes translated “I AM WHO I AM.