Seeing Spring in December
The resurrection story is usually saved for Easter, when we can see new life and growth all around us. The story of the birth of Jesus last week led to a life of ministry, a tragic death and new life. The good news is that even in great loss, there is always a new morning, a new sunrise, and new hope. Life inevitably brings disappointment, loss, fear, grief, and bewilderment. The disciples were experiencing all these things when Jesus came to stand in their midst after his resurrection. He opened their minds so they could understand how the joy of last week could turn into dark despair and then to joy again. Fear and sorrow close our minds and often paralyze us. We cannot see Jesus for the tears in our eyes or the pain in our hearts. But there he is, in our midst, by our side, offering peace, inviting us to reach out and touch him.
The irony is that the disciples had already been presented with the good news of the resurrection, but they had refused, or had been unable, to accept it. Jesus offers peace and comfort in our lives, but are we always ready or able to accept it?
It is difficult to see spring in December. Outside, the world may appear dead. Yet there is still life, buried beneath the soil, ready to burst forth with the coming of the warm sunshine. It is sometimes difficult to see God’s presence in the world today. We often feel lost, bewildered, and helpless. But we have the assurance of the power Jesus gives us, and the indwelling of the Holy Spirit to see us through any crisis. If only we can reach beyond our human emotions and accept the peace Jesus offers. He wants us to get up and do something. He asked the disciples to prepare food for him. Activity, especially doing something to help others, can help us forget our problems.
- At what times in your life have you felt the presence of Jesus most? How did you recognize that presence?
- How can we help people who are struggling with sorrow and loss to accept the peace God offers through Jesus Christ?
- Why do you think Jesus asked the disciples for food?
- Select a place that you drive or walk by frequently, such as a park or field, and watch as it experiences new life as we move toward spring. Thank God for the gift of new life.
- Be diligent to give a word of encouragement and love to teenagers and young adults you regularly encounter who are often bewildered and uncertain about their life’s direction.
- Find out if your church participates in a food pantry. Supplies are usually low at this time of year. Ask your church to collect canned goods to replenish the supply.