March 25, 2022
There are 23 days left until Easter, but resurrection has already been begun sneaking up on us. The tree outside my office window is beginning to bud. The sunshine has been inviting me to sit again on my back porch. Most surprising of all, however, is that “normal life” seems to be resurrecting herself too. As of yesterday, the city of Austin officially lifted all COVID orders and restrictions as case numbers and hospitalizations reach early pandemic lows. The city is no longer requiring masking in city facilities, with a few exceptions, such as the airport, clinical settings, and jails. And for the first time since March 2020, when COVID-19 arrived in Texas, Austin hospitals reported no new COVID related hospitalizations. Praise God from whom all blessings flow!
Beloved, there were times over the past two years when I was convinced that joys like parties, travel and group singing were all dead and gone. To my delight, however, my faithlessness has been met by God’s grace.
Even so, I admit that part of me hesitates to get “too excited.” I remember that this time last year, our Lenten theme was “cocooning” because we assumed that, by the time Easter arrived, we would all be busting out of our confinement to flit and fly around the post-COVID world. But things didn’t turn out the way we expected.
And yet, I dare to hope again. I vow to jump back into the world with joy, fully knowing that my heart may be broken once again by another surge or another loss, but at least if it does, this time I will take solace in the fact that I lived my life full to the brim while I had the chance.
This must be God’s dream for us, to live our one, precious life full to the brim. Why else would God have created delights like bluebonnets, stumbling fawns, fresh watermelon, and baby belly laughs? Our lives are simply too short to abstain from the joys God has laid at our feet.
Through the abundance of Spring rising up all around us, Creation invites us to rise to new life. Through the outpouring of grace we hear in scripture, God invites all of us to fill our cup to the brim at the welcome table. Through the love that abounds in the spaces between us, the Trinity invites us to join in the divine dance. The only question left for us is, do we dare answer God’s invitation to live our life full to the brim? Do we dare dive in with a holy “yes?”