From the Desktop of the Pastor – Week of the 4th Sunday in Lent

Hi everyone,

So I guess spring has sprung! I didn’t realise what day it was today until I sat at my desk and looked at my calendar. The kids have been asking for spring for a while, seeing as how long winter felt. So now I can go home and announce to them that it is finally spring and they can look out the window and see… well, more rain. I guess not much has changed from yesterday to today. Actually, I shouldn’t say that, we had significantly less rain yesterday.

But somehow, the kids are still excited, because spring means summer, and summer usually means fun (or more fun than usual). Unless it doesn’t, of course. Still, they would like spring more than winter, because winter isn’t that great. I mean it’s cold, dark, and nothing good happens then. Well, except for being able to play in the snow. And there’s cozying up by the fire. Oh and also let’s not forget Christmas is in there too. But for sure it’s better than the fall, because fall is when they have to go back to school and the bad (or at least worse) weather starts. However, I guess it’s nice that they can see their friends again after a long summer away. And the trees are quite nice to look at during those months when the colours change. And there’s the kid’s favourite Halloween too, of course. They talk about that for months after.

So after all that, I guess all season have their good and bad points, and we all take them the same even when we have our clear favourites. They all bring with them things that we like and things that we don’t, although we celebrate them differently. They all happen differently, but one thing is for sure, we can’t change them as that is completely out of our control. We accept them as they come, take what they give as we wait for the next season, and then they go and we start all over again when they return. The cycle continues and it’s just a part of life.

Here are the readings for next week:
Joshua 5:9-12
Psalm 32
2 Corinthians 5:16-21
Luke 15:1-3, 11b-32

So what does the changing seasons have to do with these texts? Well, I’m struck with the themes of renewal in these texts. I know, the Prodigal Son story is in there, and we don’t often think of that story of renewal as much as we do about betrayal, both by the wayward son who took off on the family, and then by the father who wasn’t exactly loyal to his older son. But the Old Testament texts about the Israelites finishing their 40-year wilderness wandering and Paul talking about renewal in Christ in the Epistle reading made me rethink what this parable is about.

And it’s just that: renewal. Making things fresh again. Having another chance to be different. That is what I see the prodigal son doing. Sure, the first trip wasn’t perhaps the best idea, but he was renewed when he came home. The father was torn apart when his younger son left, but was renewed when he saw him returning in the distance. The older son wasn’t happy with the way he was treated, but he… well, we don’t really know what happened to him but we hope that he got the message of his dad’s love, loud and clear, and was renewed by it.

All of this, along with the changing of the seasons, reminds me of how life is just in a constant state of change. Some of that change is our own fault, but a lot of it isn’t. But I think the important thing is for us to remember that there is good and bad in all of it. I’m not saying that we just ignore the bad, but I’m saying we don’t ignore the good either. In that whatever might come our way, there will be a chance for renewal in which we can hopefully again see the good that life has to offer.

It’s in this renewal that hope can be found. It’s in this constant change where we can see God’s unchanging goodness and grace. It’s in this cycle of life that we can be reminded of the steadfast love that has been given to us through life, through community, and through all of creation.

Thanks be to God! Have a great week, everyone!

Photo by James Allen on Unsplash

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