Noticings – March 22, 2023

Spring has sprung. Did you feel it? On Monday afternoon at 4:24 pm the season of winter officially ended and the season of Spring officially began. Did you feel it? Well, maybe not physically. I mean, the temperature didn’t suddenly soar, and the snow didn’t magically melt, and the flowers didn’t instantaneously burst into bloom. But I would wager that you ‘felt’ it. If your day was anything like mine on Monday, every time you turned around, and everyone you interacted with, and all the radio and TV and social media vehicles were all going on and on about Spring, all day long. You might say that ‘Spring was in the air’, culturally at least, if not meteorologically.

But that’s to be expected. After a couple of years of Covid stuff everything that feels hard or burdensome seems to feel harder and more burdensome. It stripped away a few layers of our individual (and especially our collective) resiliency, and they appear to be slow to grow back. So the coming of Spring also heralds the end of a harder more burdensome winter. (Yeah, I know some people love winter. Lucky them. I love winter too – for about a month, then I’m done.) And then, at 4:24 pm, that all symbolically ends, and a new beginning occurs. So, what do tired, hurting, stressed out, worn down people do? We emphatically embrace even the symbol of renewal – of the end of what was and the hopeful promise of a new and better way.

Well, if you can’t hear Easter theology in that then you’re just not trying very hard. We’re not there yet – our symbolic renewal hasn’t occurred yet (in the way we mark this season each year) – so the tired, hurting, stressed out, worn down stuff in our faith life might still feel like its lingering, or maybe like it will never let go. Winter is like that sometimes. But just like every year we are absolutely certain that Spring will arrive, so too are we absolutely certain that Easter will arrive, and there will be a sense of profound renewal. We probably won’t feel it instantaneously any more than we did on Monday at 4:25 pm. But just like on Monday, we’ll look forward to it, in keen, hopeful, expectant anticipation, knowing that it will mean that a new season has dawned – not physically, or meteorologically, but spiritually. We’ll ‘feel’ it. There will be an end to what was, and a promising new and better Way emerging within us and between us. It’s not here yet, but it’s definitely coming. You can even mark your calendars!