All That Will Bloom Has Not Yet Blossomed

    03.27.20 | Pastoral Reflections by Brad Sumner

    On my weekly jog up through the back roads of the yet-to-be developed areas of Willoughby, I noticed a farmer’s field. It has caught my eye before because the field contains hundreds and hundreds of daffodils. But this time, something was different….
     
    For me, the daffodil is a kind of harbinger of spring. A first-fruits kind of flower (although the humble crocus might object to being dethroned from that position). Daffodils usually come out here in BC as we turn our calendars from winter to spring and as the weather warms up a bit.
     
    In fact, there are already multiple beautiful bunches of daffodils in full bloom in municipal boulevards and freeway medians. But in this particular field, they are not yet in full bloom. The stalks are ready and tiny bits of yellow are peaking through, but the field is still green. There was a sense as I paused and look through the barbed wire that all that will bloom in that field has not yet blossomed.
     
    I feel that way about the world right now…. There is a sense that what is coming is kind of here but it’s not really here. The impact of COVID-19 is starting to hit us and has hit some hard already.  Jobs have been already lost. Security has evaporated. We hear an ominous brooding in the daily news deluge that there is more yet to come. More pain and sorrow to be walked through. All that is coming our way has not yet come to pass.
     
    But amidst this global crisis, there is also a sense that not all of the good things that will blossom have fully emerged either. A slowed-down pace gives us opportunity to rest our tired bodies after a hard push to get settled into the renovated building. A sense of deeper connection can come from admitting to others that we have needs.  A sense of stillness can allow us to hear God’s voice and God’s invitations more clearly. 
     
    There is much good that can come out of this season, but I’m not sure that all of it has come to fruition yet. 
     
    Church, my sense is that God is inviting you and I to see some new things come to life in the soil of our souls and in the seedbed that is Jericho Ridge Community Church. Things like
    ·     Faith in the Face of Fear
    ·     Hope in the Midst of Disappointment
    ·     Perseverance in Suffering
    ·     Generosity in the face of scarcity  
     
    These beautiful things take time and careful cultivation to fully bloom. And we may not see them just yet, but as they begin to poke up through the chaos of this season and the soil of our souls, let us be those with eyes to see and ears to hear what the Spirit of God is saying to us. And amidst the noise and chaos of a global pandemic, I think it’s time for the Church to bloom.
     
    -Pastor Brad   
     
    PS - Here is a list of three questions to ask yourself each day (source credit: Jared Mackey.com). I'm finding them helpful assess what I feel I have lost, what remains, and what is being unexpectedly given in this season of waiting.