There are two major periods on the annual calendar of people that follow Jesus. The first is Advent-Christmas; the second is Lent-Easter. During Advent we prepare our hearts to celebrate the good news of the incarnation – God enters the world as a fragile and vulnerable child in a country occupied by foreign armies. Lent-Easter is dedicated to dedicated to reflections on faith in a broken and wounded world. We are summoned to walk with Jesus and to face the truth about our lives and our compromises with evil. We follow Jesus to the cross and joyfully receive the news that he is risen.
The months between Easter and Advent are a long journey. Each of will have special days marked on the calendar such as birthdays, anniversaries, weddings, graduations, vacations, and the visits of family and friends. These moments bring laughter, joy, and warmth to our lives. We are unable to anticipate other events such as accidents, deaths, and calamities that have the capacity to shake us to the core. Our faith and basic human values will be put to the test on the long journey.
Most people move forward in one way or another. Very few are stuck in one place on the road. A certain amount of realism will help us manage those times of discouragement. There will be days when it will take courage and stubborn commitments to walk forward into the rain and wind. The consolation is the presence of the Risen Lord in the storms and in the sunshine.