Ok, so I’m not completely wordless this evening as we continue our journey through Lent. But I am tired. It has been a long day, with much to do. So I don’t have a lot of words. A few, but not a lot.
Today we had a funeral for another pillar of our community at St. Andrew’s. Tears were shed, and when I came across this image, I thought it quite apropos:
Sometimes our days are marked by tears. In this season as we journey towards the cross, toward the way of sorrows taken by Jesus, tears seem appropriate and significant. So remember, when tearful days come your way, that Jesus wept. And that God reads our tears as if they were the most eloquent of prayers. In His presence may we find comfort and peace.
Tonight people in my part of the world will change their clocks forward one hour before they go to bed (or their computers and smart phones will do this automatically, in the middle of the night). I have to admit, this is a nervous time for me. I once messed the time change up so bad that I arrived at the church where I was doing pulpit supply the next morning, 10 minutes before worship. Usually, I’d be there a good hour in advance. To say it was nerve-wracking is to understate it in the extreme.
So tonight will be a somewhat restless night for me. I know this. I suffer through it when the time changes twice a year. It is not my favorite night of the year, by far.
But there is something good – no, something GREAT – about the time change. It is sign of Spring. It is a sign that though the snow and ice are still present all around us, thought the wind may still be bitter at times, Spring is coming. The time is passing. Not long, now, until plants start to bud and the world grows green again.
Though we might not see the change, looking out our windows to a world that still resembles winter, the change is happening. Even now, the world prepares for new life.
I am reminded of a verse in Isaiah:
I am about to do something new.
It is beginning to happen even now.
Don’t you see it coming?
I am going to make a way for you
to go through the desert.
I will make streams of water in the dry and empty land.
Isaiah 43:19 NIRV
The journey through Lent is like this. We journey toward new life. Even now, we are drawing towards the Empty Tomb. Even now, God is preparing an Easter Sunday for us to celebrate. That has always been God’s work, and always will be.
I pray your eyes – my eyes! – will be open to seeing the new thing God is doing, even as it begins to happen. (Please take a moment to pray for the pastor(s) in your life…we really do struggle on Time Change Sundays!)
I found this on pinterest today, and it struck me. How much hurt would be saved if we all employed this rule? But then I got thinking even further about quietness. I believe that quiet is good for the soul.
We live in a busy, noisy, crazy world. When we go just about anywhere there is a soundtrack playing – at the mall, at the gym, the TV that is on at the doctor’s office or the radio that plays in the car. I sometimes think that we are afraid of silence, we have a fear of quiet.
I think we are afraid of it, because in the silence, in the quiet, our thoughts are revealed. There is no sound to distract ourselves with, and one either finds peace or runs into insanity.
Right now, as I sit writing in my livingroom, the only sound is the whoosh of air through the ducts as my furnace works to keep the house warm and the rhythmic swish of breath from the two dogs and a cat who are napping on their beds nearby. I am very pleased to say that it is not insanity that I am finding in this still, quiet moment. Instead, it is peace, I find here. And thankfulness for all the gifts God has given me.
If your days are busy and noisy and full of distraction, I encourage you to find some time to spend in silence. Whether it is a walk in the afternoon, turning off the radio as you drive, or finding half an hour to turn off all the noise-makers and simply sitting in quiet. As we draw ever closer to Easter, spend some time in the quiet. Hear what your soul says, listen to what the Holy Spirit might whisper to you, or just breathe and put your trust in God.
For God alone my soul waits in silence;
from him comes my salvation.
Psalm 62:1 NRSV