Love can mean lots of things. We can love our cars, love chocolate, love our favorite sports team, and even love pizza. I think we all know that each of these is a trivial kind of love – more of a preference or attachment to a pleasure. We also know that when we say we love our family, love our spouse, love our children, we mean something deeper. I would not sacrifice much for a slice of meat-lovers pizza. I would, however, sacrifice much for my loved ones. That gets closer to the kind of love we talk about in relation to the love Christ shows us on the cross.
Well, I’m not sure any of us would say that we expected – or even welcome – the passing of a one-year anniversary for the pandemic. And yet… On the other hand… Looking at it from another angle… There is call for thanking God for the last twelve months. Despite the upheaval, the change, the challenge, the constantly moving reality that has been pandemic-patterned lives, we have been the Church for all 365 days of the last year. In frustration, I’ve heard folks say, “But we’re not doing anything,” probably referring to gathering for worship. Nothing could be less true. Here is a brief look at what I give thanks for this day (sorry, the list is long).
Is it too early to start talking about how much I’m looking forward to spring? This is my first time spending the winter outside of the tiny area of Ohio with which I’m completely familiar. The area is probably similar in a lot of ways to the winter here in central Iowa. I know that throughout March, the snow can come down so thick, heavy, and fast that a person is left wondering why the weather forecast was so wrong. That happens in Ohio. I know that the roads can become coated with a sheet of pure, slick, unrelenting ice in mid-April. That certainly happens in Ohio. And I know that even in early May, a winter storm can roll in with such severity that it closes schools, because that has happened in Ohio… and weirdly, that happens often.