After a long winter of grays and umbers, such vibrant splashes of purple and yellow, just outside my front door, are the first heralds of the reawakening that’s about to happen all around me.
Spring is like the glory of the coming kingdom – beyond expectations, lavish in its intensity, overwhelming in its beauty and power.
And if spring is the season of glory, then winter is the time of hope. Of anticipation. Of awaiting.
Each fall, I bring in plants that I plan to nurture inside until it’s safe to go out again. Some, like this oregano, didn’t make it. Others, like this ornamental pepper, are holding on, even putting out new leaves. I have hope that it will make it through.
I want to do more than just hold on until heaven. I want to grow in my hope. To put out green shoots of anticipation. Yesterday, on a call with some of the brothers here at Ailbe, we looked at the first few verses of Romans 5. Paul not only teaches how we can have hope planted in us, he tells us how to have it grow through the winters of our discontent – through times of suffering.
This morning, I wrote it into my journal:
We are heading towards an eternal spring. But hope is not simply a longing for what is to come. It’s an open window to the balmy, scent-laden air right now.
Forgive us, Lord, for our withered hope. Your death and resurrection have given us access – even now – to your coming kingdom. Remind us, through the beauty of spring, how rich and glorious that kingdom is.