A Long Winter…

And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching.” Hebrews 10:24-25

The calendar says that it is spring, and yet when we look outside our windows, we see few signs of spring amidst the lingering snow.  And when we go outside, we do not feel fresh spring air, but rather the persistent bitter chill of the the whipping wind.  For those of us who live in areas in which winter comes every year, we expect and sometimes even joyfully anticipate it’s coming.  But we also trust in the assurance that it is only for a season and that it too will pass away, making space for the new life of spring.

In a similar way, we know that Jesus came, died on the cross, and rose from the grave.  In fact, we just recently celebrated that reality once again at the beginning of the month on Easter Sunday.  And yet we still live in what can sometimes feel like a lingering spiritual winter amid the darkness of our fallen world.  The light has come and there are glimpses of it all around and yet the darkness of this world lingers on and continues to shadow our surroundings.  We, like generations of believers before us, long for the promised return of the messiah, Jesus’ second coming, in which all things will be made new like the newness of life that comes with the annual spring bloom bursting forth.

We know that it is coming.  We trust that God’s word is true.  We see glimpses of it that spring forth from freshly plowed spiritual ground in us and in the lives of others that we know.  And yet we wait for it to grow into fullness before us.  Meanwhile, the waiting can get long, oh so very long.  And as the time draws on, the waiting can become discouraging and depressing.

In these times, we would do well to remember that we need not wait alone.  Our relationship to Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior is personal and yet in is not wholly individual.  God has also created us to be communal, to live out our faith with other believers.  The support of fellow believers can be especially important during times in which the winters of life have a way of pulling us down and discouraging our spirits.

If you are a part of a faith community, now is a good time to lean into that community of support.  If you have stepped away from a body of faith, now could be a good time to reach out and to reconnect.  If you are not currently connected with a body of believers, now may be the perfect time to seek one out.  There are a number of good options in our area.  Because God has promised us newness and while we know that the time is coming, the waiting can be long.  But we need not wait alone.