Sunday, February 14, 2016

The Jordan River

February – The Bleak Midwinter

"Keep your faith in beautiful things; in the sun when it is hidden, in the Spring when it is gone."  Roy R. Gibson

"Every gardener knows that under the cloak of winter lies a miracle ... a seed waiting to sprout, a bulb opening to the light, a bud straining to unfurl." - Barbara Winkler

“The kingdom of God is like a mustard seed.”- Jesus

     Our faith is a lot like the month of February – a state of anticipation towards spring and the potential that lies hidden to our eyes.  Like faith it speaks to things unseen yet hoped for.

     As Christians we know that the beauty of Christmas is fulfilled in the potential that blossoms forth in Easter.  Last month we celebrated a new year and with it a new hope that our lives could always be better.  During this month we tend to get anxious.  It is cold and dreary and everything seems really really dead!  We can’t wait for the spring!  February helps set the stage for Spring…if it was always Spring we wouldn’t feel the sense of new life bursting forth so deeply in our souls!

     Ironically during the coldest month of the year is the month that we celebrate love!

     When stuck inside from the cold we tend to look more inwardly.  It is truly a good time to reflect and take inventory of our relationships.  Our God is a God of relationships.  All of us want to be loved, but many of us find that fostering and maintaining good healthy loving relationships to be hard work and challenging.  Valentine’s Day gives us a chance to refocus on those things that are most important to us but tend to get lost in the shuffle of our day to day routines – our relationships with our loved ones.

     Part of being in a loving relationship is feeling worthy of love oneself!  There are many reasons why some of us feel unworthy of love…but simply remind yourself of this – the creator of the entire cosmos believes you are worthy of love, enough to be called a “child of God”.  If God loves us beyond our imagination then we are certainly worthy of love…from yourself and from others.  And because God loves us, then we can share that love with others in kind.  And like the Sower in Jesus’ parables of the seeds, you too can sow love into the world.  The paradox and true potential of love is that it only grows when we freely give it away!  Valentines’ day is a day which focuses on that universal principle where we figuratively give our hearts away to those we love!

     The kingdom of God, like a seed, like our love, is unseen, grows slowly and has a huge potential for change and transformation in our lives and in the lives of those we touch.  For by sowing seeds of love, we in a sense become the living word of God.  God lived out through you and me.  In this way, as Saint Paul said, we become the body of Christ - we become the Church!

     So as we strive to be more open to God and to live a more loving life in relationship with our self and those around us, let us remember that small seed that is living in each one of us - just waiting to burst forth in beauty into the world.  Happy February!

Your faithful servant,