In the bulb there is a flower, in the seed an apple tree, in the end is the beginning bringing hope for you and me… words of encouragement and hope in light of what has become a long and difficult winter. Ice and snow and cold have worn on our being and we long for the changing seasons. I tried to escape to Arizona for a brief respite with Carol but apparently took the weather with me as several mornings were in the low 30’s with over two inches of rain (cold) in Mesa. Snow was prevalent in Scottsdale and Fountain Hills and my nephew sent a picture of the 3-4 inches of snow in Benson AZ, south of Tucson and less than an hour from Mexico. Still, it wasn’t 30 below zero as it was earlier in Illinois.
Longing for the coming spring, we also observe the hope and optimism of the Lenten Season. It is a time for us to once again look introspectively at our faith and lives and perhaps realign our perspective to focus on our faith experience. We come together to pray and praise, to perhaps refocus some of our energies into building and strengthening our relationship with God and with each other.
Relying on my farming/agricultural roots, it is a time of transition from the dormancy and sometimes bitterness of winter into the wonder of newborn calves dotting greening countryside and fields being readied and planted in expectation of another crop yielding its abundance. While often we view Lent with somberness, perhaps we can find joy in the changing season that accompanies Lent, perhaps even finding joy in the Lenten experience, focusing on gratitude for all the ways we are blessed.
As we begin this Lenten Season, may we be challenged to express both joy and gratitude as we live out our faith in this time and place. In a world determined to find negatives and division in nearly every corner, may we be people of gratitude and joy, living and sharing our faith experience in this community we call Harmony. May we live that harmony and share God’s love and joy! Amen!
Blessings and love