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March 23, 2018, 4:09 PM

Patience with the weather!


One of the songs we sing at Easter is the “Hymn of Promise”, and the first verse contains this line:

In the cold and snow of winter, there’s a spring that waits to be,

Unrevealed until its season, something God alone can see.

I have about run out of patience with waiting for spring. But, of course, patience is a virtue in which I’m frequently deficient. Perhaps some of you summer-lovers have made the mistake of praying for more patience!

The Biblical author James writes: “Be patient, then, brothers and sisters, until the Lord’s coming. See how the farmer waits for the land to yield its valuable crop and how patient he is for the autumn and spring rains. You, too, be patient and stand firm, because the Lord’s coming is near.” (James 5: 7-8).

James was writing of a time when there were rich people getting wealthier, in part by being unjust to the poor. He was reminding his people—and us today—that the world we live in is deeply unfair, and that God is waiting patiently for the Day of Judgment in which all things will be made right—"God will fill the hungry with good things and send the rich away empty.” (Luke 1: 53).

One of my favorite children’s books is “Dog Heaven” by Cynthia Rylant. In it she describes what happens to dogs when they go to heaven, and includes a bit about dogs that haven’t been treated well on earth. If they haven’t had a real home, she writes, they get one in heaven, with a bed that has their name on it and a place under the table where people drop lots of crumbs.

It’s very cute, but I think it captures an important aspect of God’s justice—that those who have suffered in this very unjust world of ours will, in the Last Judgment, be rewarded with everything they were deprived of on earth.

What about those of us who have been given much in this life? Well, then, “From everyone who has been given much, much will be demanded; and from the one who has been entrusted with much, much more will be asked.” (Luke 12:48). If we have been blessed in this life, we are responsible for getting on board with God’s justice right now.

So we are always being called to be both patient and active in this time of waiting for justice. Sitting around and whining and complaining about the state of the world isn’t any better than complaining about the cold weather—it’s worthless! God is asking us to participate in making the world a better place and wait with patience for God to make it truly just and right.

Spring is coming. Easter is coming. Jesus is coming. Rejoice!

God loves you and I love you! See you in church! ~Pastor Julia

 


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