Grace and Peace to you.
Tomorrow is the first day of Spring, but there’s six inches of snow in the yard and it’s still coming down. In the woods where days ago there were pools there are now piles of snow. We are ready for spring to come, but it comes in fits and starts. As a little girl once said, “I’ve figured out the seasons. It goes summer, autumn, winter, spring, winter, spring, winter, spring.” Of course all the seasons do that. This is just the Vernal version of Indian Winter. We notice it most in spring because we long so deeply for renewal.
Sunday is Palm Sunday, and as Jesus enters Jerusalem we’ll celebrate him as a king, shouting praise. But before the service is over we’ll be shouting, “Crucify him!” Winter, spring, winter…. We are saved, but we are still working out our salvation. We are one with God and with all Creation, but we trust our oneness only in fits and starts. We who are made new still long for renewal. We believe; God help our unbelief.
Neither we nor the Church nor society are “getting better every day.” Some days we get worse. But Jesus understands. He knows his disciples will deny him, but says, “Listen! Satan has demanded to sift all of you like wheat, but I have prayed for you that your own faith may not fail; and you, when once you have turned back, strengthen your sisters and brothers” (Lk. 22.31-32).
Neither our inner nor our outer lives are one smooth, simple arc like a hit baseball. The path is rough and winding. We rise and fall, dip and swing, lurch and stop and lurch again. Stuff happens. But through it all, Jesus walks with us and prays for us. The Spirit bears us on. Spring is in us still, working its life-giving magic, producing renewal. It just doesn’t come all at once, forever. The Beloved breathes in us, and even in our failures and desolations we are becoming more fully the beloved people God creates us to be. Under the snow the crocuses keep pushing up; the buds still swell on the trees.
Even when spring reverts to winter in your soul, shovel the snow, but keep the faith. We are being transformed, from one degree of glory to another. We are being re-created. The world is turning, and our inconsistencies can’t stop it. The Spirit is living and growing in you. Wait for the Lord.
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