Song of Solomon 2:11-13 (NRSV)
As I write this reflection I am staring at the remnants of a long cold winter. Dirty brown piles of snow sit at the end of the driveway. A plastic grocery bag hangs on a tree branch for dear life flapping in the wind. My salt coated winter boots sit by the garage door next to the snow shovel as a reminder of what these past months have been. Then I read this passage from the Song of Solomon and I ask, “Is it safe to celebrate spring? Am I living in a reasonable hope that the winter is past and that there is warmth and new life about to spring forth? Or am I setting myself up for disappointment only to be pulled back into the biting wind on my face? I’m probably being a bit over dramatic here, but those of us who live in this unpredictable climate know full well how we can get excited about spring only to be reminded that mother nature can still pack a punch if she wants to.
Our walk with God can seem similar. Are we living in a reasonable hope that the world God loves will be redeemed? Are the signs of the reign of God that Jesus says to look for really among us; or are we just setting ourselves up for another disappointment. We know our world is vulnerable and often times unstable, so maybe its best just to wait for another blast and accept the possibility that it will probably turn bad once again?
These are the questions we carry into holy week. Just as the disciples did when the hope they found in Jesus ended up on a cross. Just as the women did when they came to anoint a body inside a tomb? It’s OK for us to wonder, to wrestle, to doubt because it is our nature to do so. Yet while we do, let’s do so in the knowledge that the God who created us for himself has something to say to us in our doubt and in our angst. Let’s walk this holy week road with an awareness that God may want to spoil our expectations and break through our uncertainty with something new for us. Stay tuned. A new season is about to come!