I know it is December because every electronic device and calendar I own tells me it is. But when I look out the back windows of my home, I see a field covered with newly-sprouted green grass. December isn’t the time for grass to be growing! Lawns should be going fallow, resting, dormant for the cold winter months ahead. But they aren’t – they are growing and thriving and sprouting new things.
There are some times when what we think should be happening is very different from what is actually happening. And it sometimes takes a lot to notice it and to adjust, spiritually, emotionally, cognitively. New green grass is a sign of spring, not a sign of winter. Afternoons in the high 70’s with lots of sunshine feel like April, not December. But here we are – living through some unexpected, unanticipated, unusual, yet wonderful days!
I think that’s the way God works in the life of our church too. Sometimes we can fall into thinking we know what is happening, we know what the next few months in the life of our congregation will look like, we know what to expect in the coming year. But the reality is different. New signs of life are unexpectedly showing up where we thought things were lying dormant. Days are filled with hope and light when we expected them to be ordinary and dreary.
The prophet Isaiah put it this way: I am about to do a new thing; now it springs forth, do you not perceive it? I will make a way in the wilderness and rivers in the desert (Is 43:19). This Advent, let’s look for the new thing springing forth in our midst. And let’s adjust accordingly!