Monday, March 4
Tuesday, March 5
Wednesday, March 6
“What is the kingdom of God like?… It is like a mustard seed that someone took and sowed in the garden; it grew and became a tree, and the birds of the air made nests in its branches.” (Luke 13:18,19)
Garrison Keillor said, “February is the month created for the benefit of those who have never experienced a hangover.”
We might say the same thing about the season of Lent. Lent typically begins at the bleakest time of the year with a reminder of our mortality: Ashes to ashes, dust to dust. And it culminates in the darkness of Calvary as Jesus cries, “It is finished!” and draws his last breath.
Where is the hope in this season of the church year? Where is the joy? As we turn our eyes to the cross, what can we see but death and despair?
Every seed, even one as tiny as a mustard seed, contains an embryo waiting to burst forth when the time and the conditions are right. No matter how often we sow, doesn’t it seem miraculous when the first tiny sprouts appear and once again our hope is justified?
Imagine the desolation of those who gathered around the foot of the cross. They could not have imagined how the kingdom would erupt on the third day.
There is a reason that the cross in the chancel of so many Christian churches is empty; our eyes are focused upon it, but we know that the story does not end there.