"The world has tilted far from the sun, from colour and juice….I am waiting for a birth that will change everything." ~Hilary Llewellyn-Williams
As spring continues to elude us here in Minnesota, we are all on the watch for any sign of a birth that will change everything. I overheard people yesterday talking about the green they had seen poking its way out of the ground. Indeed bulbs and perennial bushes are working overtime to make their way into the world. But today we are threatened by another snowstorm and the skies continue to pour forth only gray and very little sunshine. Not excellent conditions for the birth of green.
The final days of Lent are upon us. As Holy Week begins next week I am reminded of those early followers of Jesus who were looking for a birth that would change everything. Isn't that, after all, the story we proclaim at Christmas? The disciples had encountered a person whose life changed theirs in every way. In traveling with him, living with him, being present to him, they had seen miracles, known justice, experienced a love they had never known, a love that transformed their lives and made them into a new people. It is this reality that we remember during Holy Week. We remember a birth, a life, that changed everything, that helped people encounter Emmanuel, God-with-us.
As Christians it is easy to come into Holy Week and allow the days to wash over us with a certain been-there, done-that, kind of mentality. We attend worship, we prepare certain foods, we perhaps even buy new clothes in preparation for Easter Sunday. The songs are familiar, the scripture we have heard for years on end. But to those early followers of the Way of Jesus, their lives had been turned upside down, nothing was familiar to them anymore. They had experienced the birth that changed everything, not only in the person of Jesus, but in their own lives. Because they had known him and loved him, their lives were changed forever. This is what we celebrate on Easter morning.
Many times as our community comes to baptize an infant new to the world, it is my privilege to be present to a birth that is changing everything. I observe parents I have known only as individuals now intimately connected to this small bundle of humanity that has created a new way of seeing, a new way of living, a new way of being present in the world for them. It always reminds me that with each of our births there is such great potential. With each birth the world experiences the opportunity for change, a new vision, a fresh start.
We will continue to watch and wait for the re-birth of the earth around us. But to experience the gift of another kind of re-birth, we need only look, really look, into the eyes of those we meet today. We need only look, and remember, that each of us carries within us the potential of the birth that will change everything for at least one person, or perhaps, many. The potential is a gift. The choice is ours.
Isn't is glorious?