Sweeter than Honey
“How sweet are your words to my taste, sweeter than honey to my mouth!” (Psalm 119:103)
One of my future life goals is to be a beekeeper. I had the chance this past September to experience a taste of this when I spent a few days with Father Michael Casagram, the head beekeeper at the Abbey of Gethsemani in Kentucky.
Father Michael has an intense love for the bees and their ability to live and work in community. Each bee has a special job to complete, and it’s only when they work together that they are able to produce that miraculous honey we all know and love. No one bee can do that alone! Father Michael told me how very special he felt to be welcomed by the bees into that little community of unity and purpose. He doesn’t wear any protective gear when he tends the hives, because in his experience, when he is truly at peace, the bees somehow sense this, and do not regard him as a threat.
He challenged me to try this when we visited the hives together. I do not have any meaningful experience with beekeeping, but I trusted Father Michael’s advice and concentrated on projecting a sense of calm and love toward the bees as we disassembled and reassembled the hives to check on overall colony health. I’m happy to report that I survived the experience with no stings, and I am very eager to spend more time with these amazing creatures.
The same tends to be true in our human communities. If we approach a family gathering or a church congregation with a spirit of confrontation or agitation, that’s exactly what we are going to experience. Those feelings of disunity quickly become viral. But if we can approach our communities with a spirit of peace and love, we create an environment in which that peace and love can grow. That’s what Jesus longs for us to experience – a unity and harmony that is even sweeter than honey.
Lord, help me to be an instrument of your peace and harmony, working with my neighbor in community to produce joy that is sweeter than honey. Amen.
Rev. Scott E. Schul
The people of Grace share their favorite bible stories for the 2023 Lenten Devotional: I Love to Tell the Story. Each day's devotional will be automatically posted so come back daily after 7 am for a new reflection.