Spring is in the air! Or is it? Honestly, it was a bit of a shock coming back to Arlington after London which is probably at least 4 weeks ahead of the whole blossom/daffodil/ green shoots thing.Here seems positively wintery still. BUT as I sit and write on my deck without a sweater, undeniably spring IS in the air.
And with Spring comes a sense of hope. As with the vaccine gradually finding its way into the arms of millions, including many Incarnation people, hope is coming of new life, and new groth. Hope that at last things will regain some sort of normalcy. Hope for NOT being in a pandemic any more. Hope for no more isolation and maybe, even, one day, less zoom. We were planning our next steps for Sunday re-gathering at staff meeting today - and it felt so hopeful (wait for it - no final news yet - but be alert - we are making plans!!).
But meanwhile the story which came to mind as I was praying earlier was this one.
18 And he [Elisha] said, “Take the arrows,” and he took them. And he said to the king of Israel [Joash], “Strike the ground with them.” And he struck three times and stopped. 19 Then the man of God was angry with him and said, “You should have struck five or six times; then you would have struck down Syria until you had made an end of it, but now you will strike down Syria only three times.” 2 Kings 13 (ESV)
Honestly, it’s such a sad story. I always feel really frustrated on Joash’s behalf - nobody told him to strike the arrows more. It just feels like he lost some game he didn’t even know he was playing. So why this story today? Well, sometimes it is clear that we miss out on God’s best because we simply don’t persevere.
There are days when I am so fed up with this pandemic, yet I feel God’s whisper saying - have you learned all you can? In my day-to-day conversations with God I often use these three questions: what can I learn about God? others? and myself? They are such versatile questions and can be used in any circumstance. Today, can you apply them to the pandemic? And your experience of it?
What are you learning? Have you learned all you can? Where can you grow in your faith? Your compassion for others? Your faithfulness to God’s call to go and make disciples?
It’s just possible that we have more to learn. (Always). So let’s hold on tight. Let’s keep wearing our masks and physically distancing. Let's encourage each other to go another mile. And let’s remember that God loves us and wants our best, and ask Him what we can learn today. Why not ask someone this week what they are learning?
And what else?
Membership Sunday is next week: March 21. Last call for members! email me please!
Please pray for our three baptism candidates: Sophie, Lottie and Marcus (all to be baptised on Easter Sunday)
And lent reflections for the blog should be sent to Amy - please consider writing up your thoughts!
PS Don't forget: the clocks change on Saturday night! Spring = leap forward.