Pastor’s Corner: Patterns

February 23, 2022

As I write this column the date is, in fact, 2-22-22. That’s kind of fun (though not as much fun as 2-22-2222, but I don’t plan to live that long). Those who write dates Day/Month/Year and include all the zeroes get 22-02-2022. Reverse the numbers and you get the same thing.

It’s a fun coincidence of the calendar. They crop up from time to time. A few years ago, for instance, observers of “Pi Day” (March 14th, which reads 3-14, the first three digits of the mathematical constant Pi) had a special treat, at 3-14-15 added two more correct digits.

Human beings have the ability to recognize patterns. Recognizing patterns aided hunting and gathering peoples who needed to journey from one place to another to find food. Recognizing patterns helped early farming peoples identify ways to keep taro growing and to prepare it to be eaten. Recognizing patterns kept people safe from severe weather. Recognizing patterns enabled the Polynesian mariners to find and settle Hawai’i.

For that matter, recognizing patterns led to the calculation of Pi.

Further, people have found meaning in the patterns they recognized. We see certain behaviors in another person – smiles, laughs – and we find them cheerful. We see other behaviors in a person – frowns, sighs – and we find them sad.

Patterns aren’t entirely reliable. Events happen that don’t match the patterns. Some things that happen at the same time aren’t related to each other. People’s smiles disguise pain.

It was in patterns that people first experienced the grace of God: in the miracles of sun, rain, and growth. In the miracles of human compassion. In the miracles of spiritual refreshment in prayer.

God does not hold strictly to patterns, however. The incarnation of Jesus had so little precedent that his followers struggled to understand him and we continue that struggle today. There was a one pattern, however, that Jesus fully matched, fully fulfilled:

The love of God.

With aloha,

Pastor Eric

The image is Digital Graphic Pattern 4 by Tris_T7 – Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0,

Categories Pastor's Corner Reflections | Tags: | Posted on February 24, 2022

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