Pastoral Post 3.22.2019

Spring time in the mountains = Living in the “already, but not yet”

By Rev. Becky Brown

Our family seems to spend quite a bit of time talking about the weather these days.  Ever since Punxsutawney Phil awoke in February and did not see her/his shadow, we have been on the lookout for Spring.  Caroline and Jack have been watching closely and have been longing for the first day of Spring.  I think they have had an idealistic view of what Spring will be like, mainly because of what they’ve learned about in school.  Spring time is a season for beautiful flowers, warmer temperatures, nice cool breezes, and great weather for outdoor play without the hinderance of heavy winter clothes and jackets.  They’re ready to say goodbye to the cold so they can get outdoors more often to play, create, explore, and create mischief.  Winter can seem stifling, while Spring feels free.  Don’t get me wrong, they would love to have another good snow.  As anyone with a childlike heart, they welcome a snow storm that would cancel school and allow our whole family to have a day off to sled, create, play, and enjoy hot chocolate and cookies.  The first day of Spring has come and gone, and I think the children were expecting the weather to change dramatically and immediately.  They were ready to break out their short sleeves and leave the coats on the rack.  Of course, that’s not the reality, especially with early Spring in the mountains.

We’ve been talking a lot about darkness this Lenten season.  Our devotions have been themed around darkness and our sermon series has spent time considering the dark places Jesus lingered and experienced his ministry.  Lent is a time to consider darkness, to look inward as individuals and as a church.  Sometimes it’s easy to be weighed down by the darkness so much so that it’s difficult to see the light.

Sometimes when we venture into the darkness following Jesus, we run the risk of getting consumed by it.  There are far too many examples of people living in darkness in our world.  Evidence and consequences of human sin are seen in almost every headline and can be heard in every story of human pain.  It is exhausting and overwhelming.  It is easy to get drug down and lose hope – especially when expectations aren’t fulfilled and life doesn’t seem to get any better for those we love and care deeply for.

When we consider the idea of the “already, but not yet”, we recognize God’s presence in our current reality, but realize the fullness of God’s glory hasn’t been revealed yet.  Luke 17:20-21 says, “Pharisees asked Jesus when God’s kingdom was coming.  He replied, ‘God’s kingdom isn’t coming with signs that are easily noticed.  Nor will people say, ‘Look, here it is!’ or ‘There it is!’  Don’t you see?  God’s kingdom is already among you.” (CEB) Wherever God’s will is done, God’s presence is known.  Wherever we experience signs of reconciliation, restoration and healing, God’s kingdom is already seen.

Just as the season of Lent will come to a close in about 4 more weeks, so will the season of below freezing morning temperatures that seem to have kidnapped our Spring season.  Easter is coming and so is the fullness of Spring!  The season of waiting is never easy.  Yet, when we seek God in the darkness, we will always see the light.

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