Sunday, March 11, 2012
A Glorious Sunset
Weather is the main topic in March. We’re all sick of winter, longing for the bright days of spring. Violent storms shake the area, sometimes giving us the blessing of much needed rain. When I was a child we had “country wisdom” about weather. In school it was “in like a lamb, out like a lion,” and we would draw and color lambs and lions for days. The farmers applied mariner wisdom to farming tasks, “red skies in morning, sailors take warning; red skies at night, sailors delight.” And of course Farmers’ Almanac always had us planting on the waning moon, March 15.
March is the month we naturally attempt to predict our “yield.” In the rural community we use weather signs to work and grow our crops. In the city we use the same signs to know if our gardens will grow or our trees will struggle.
Humans seem to have a nature desire to know what will happen in the future. As we study our Lenten lessons and follow Christ’s last days, the scriptural foreshadowing tells us that a great change is about to take place. Even though the prophets of the Old Testament predicted a Messiah, it is the scriptural story of the New Testament that provides the facts.
Looking back on the story of sacrifice, we know there is no escape for Jesus. As the story is revealed, we have human sadness for him. It is answering the question of “why” this had to happen that we come face to face with our faith. We symbolically put away our hallelujah banner and wait for the conclusion of Christ’s journey.
When farmers practice prediction, it is based on centuries of experience that has created trust, but they never fail to celebrate the miracle of birth and rebirth. Likewise, we know and trust the story of Jesus and we never fail to celebrate the miracle of resurrection.
The sunset I photographed this week is just a seasonal weather event, but it reminds me of the earthly presence of Christ, who lived, walked, and preached among us. We need not predict, for the story is told. He died for us and through his death we have a promise of eternal life. It is a glorious sunset.