It seemed so close this past weekend. I thought Spring had
arrived – milder temperatures, sun, melting snow, mud… and then, a chillier
night talk of snow reminded me that Spring is not quite here.
I like Winter, too, yet some of the dreary, cold days make me
wonder if Spring will ever arrive. So, as we approach mid-March and April I get
excited about what is coming next. When glimpses of Spring occur I start to get
hopeful about baseball, t-shirts and flip-flops, and outdoor picnics.
I find it easy to hope for Spring when the sun is shining and
the temperatures warm. I struggle when the cold and ice return, and that is
when I need to discipline myself to make time to be aware. I don’t always take
time to notice the crocus coming out of the snow or to listen to songs of the
birds. Yet when I do, I am reminded that Spring is coming.
It reminded me of hearing the news and observing people.
Sometimes the news can cause us to wonder if there is anything good at all
happening in the world around us – we can feel dreariness and gloom hover in
our hearts and thoughts as we wonder, “Will it always be like this? Will God’s
promise of peace on earth and restoration of creation ever occur?”
And this is when observing people can provide glimpses of the
goodness of God’s kingdom. We can get glimpses of God’s kingdom as people speak
kind words, work for justice, feed the hungry, visit the sick and dying, hang
out with youth, and love those who are outcast (either by society, organized
religion or both).
Yes, I will acknowledge that sometimes observing people can
lead us to feeling more discouraged than before, but we need to hold this in
perspective. And those are like the days on the verge of Spring when the cold
front returns and we wonder if Winter will last forever.
Part of the mystery of Christian faith proclaimed when
celebrating communion and in reciting the Apostles’ creed is that Christ will
come again. We do not know what this will look like entirely, nor do we know
when this will occur, but of this we can be sure – every day we get a wee bit
Glimpses of the kingdom remind us that we do not live in vain,
and they can provide hope to get us through the times when we feel gloom
hovering in our hearts. Sometimes these situations are obvious, and sometimes
we need to make an effort to find the spaces to glimpse the kingdom as it
breaks into our reality here and now.
Do you have a favorite sign of the coming Spring? Where are
other areas you have noticed Spring coming?
What is your favorite sign of God’s Kingdom coming? Where have
you noticed this lately?