Spring is Just Around the Corner

Today is another cold winter day - no worse than many of the days we have experienced in the past few months but it comes after a small stretch of beautiful 50+ degree days. A teaser of spring. I can't help but think of the dark days before the death of Jesus and the confusion and despair his disciples must have been feeling. Jesus has been tested by the authorities, his motives questioned, the miracles he has performed doubted. The disciples have been steadfast but Jesus knows that the worst is still to come. He predicts his death not once, but three times. He tries to prepare his followers that difficult times are just on the horizon. They listen but do not understand. It's a dark time.

Then, as they make their way into Jerusalem, there is a ray of sunlight. Jesus rides into the City of David as a king. He is welcomed and adored. The crowds line the streets, cover the path with their cloaks and palm branches. I can only imagine what his followers are thinking now. "What is he talking about? Put to death? These people love him." The tough times are over. Jesus has arrived.

It's the way I felt, in a very small way, this week - the sun came out, the snow began to melt and I could see the green of spring flowers breaking through the solid, frosted ground. But just as quickly as the sun appeared, the cold and darkness have reasserted themselves. Depression, despair, gloom, when will it be over. Jesus tells his twelve closest friends that he knows one of them will betray him, that all will abandon him, one will deny him three times, that he is going to be broken and bloodied and killed and that there is nothing they can do about it. Then he does something remarkable - well, most of what he does is remarkable but you get the point - he takes simple bread and wine. He gives thanks, and tells his followers that this is his body and blood that is is giving up for them and for us. He asks them to partake in it - to be not only part of his glory but part of his suffering.

We are lucky, we know the story, we know that all Jesus predicted came to pass. We know that he was betrayed, denied, was crucified, died and was buried. His body was broken. It was dark, cold and lifeless.

We also know that is not the end of the story but only the beginning. By his suffering and dying, being bloodied and dirtied and defiled he cleansed us. By giving his life for us, he gave us life.

Today is cold. We were teased by a few days of spring-like weather. But it is cold again. But we know that spring is coming - it is right around the corner. The flowers will bloom, the life giving rains will come, the sun will shine and the temperatures will warm.

During this Lenten season, prepare, fast, pray but don't forget that we are an Easter people. We have been given new life. Don't squander a minute.

Bits & Pieces

  1. Pray for Jun Jun at the WILL Foundation. The Chinese government's orphanage management system is strange at best. After 7 years he is being 're-evaluated'. In those 7 years he has gone from forgotten abandoned outcast to a young boy with a future. Pray.
  2. There seems to be a never ending amount of hoops to jump through as we work on producing our biggest order. I can't order the bottles and ingredients until all is squared away officially. Time is getting shorter.
  3. I am looking for an accountant if anyone has any recommendations.
  4. The seeds for the 2014 'super hots' are all planted. Red and yellow Morouga Scorpion, Red Caroline Reapers, Bhut Jolokia (Ghost Peppers), as well as a variety of other peppers!

"We are going up to Jerusalem, and the Son of Man will be delivered over to the chief priests and the teachers of the law. They will condemn him to death and will hand him over to the Gentiles to be mocked and flogged and crucified. On the third day he will be raised to life!"

Matthew 20: 18-19

They brought a donkey and the cold and placed their cloaks on them for Jesus to sit on. A very large crowd spread their cloaks on the road, while others cut branches from the trees and spread them on the road. The crowds that went ahead of him and those that followed shouted. "Hosanna to the Son of David! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord! Hosanna in the highest heaven!"

Matthew 21: 6-9

When evening came, Jesus was reclining at the table with the Twelve. And while they were eating, he said, "Truly I tell you, one of you will betray me."

Matthew 26: 20-21

Then Jesus told them. "This vey night you will all fall away on account of me, for it is written: 'I will strike the shepherd, and the sheep of the flock will be scattered.'  But after I have risen, I will go ahead of you into Galilee."

Peter replied, "Even if all fall away on account of you, I never will."

"Truly I tell you," Jesus answered, "this very night, before the rooster crows, you will disown me three times."

Matthew 26: 31-34

While they were eating, Jesus took bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it and gave it to his disciples, saying, "Take and eat, this is my body."

Then he took a cup and when he had given thanks, he gave it to them, saying. "Drink from it, all of you. This is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins. I tell you, I will not drink from this fruit of the vine from now on until that day when I drink it new with you in my Father's kingdom."

When they had sung a hymn, they went out to the Mount of Olives.

Matthew 26: 26-30