orangeleader.com (Orange, Texas)

March 23, 2014

Spring Revisited, Faith Reborn

Andy Pate
The Orange Leader

ORANGE — As beautiful as can be winter's Christmas, there's nothing quite like the splendor of an approaching Easter.

Spring is always welcome; but this year across our land, a good bit more than usual. A harsh winter has heightened our anticipation and, in all honesty, magnified our need to experience the annual rebirth of the land about us.

Confined mostly indoors for three long months now, we've fretted and fussed about calories added from over indulgence and our relative absence of exercise.  Facebook, our presumed Great Modern Comforter, has revealed its inner weaknesses: there's no personal touch there (flesh-to-flesh), no uplifting scent of jasmine, rose or wisteria; only the flat, lifeless colors and smells of a temperamental machine.

Winter's discontent, you might say, has left us fearful that spring 2014 might disappoint. And such, too, is our spiritual predicament: a faith grown as cold as the computer screen; an Easter parade possibly spoiled by bitter human divisions; more youth on water skis than in worship pews; Rap over Gospel; Wall Street over Via Dolorosa (Road of Sorrow) to Golgotha. Such describes the dread that simmers in shallow waters beneath the surface of our sophisticated but passionless "modern" faith.

Religion without mystery, spring without romance; that's the way it is for far too many in 2014,

What have we gained with all our electronic, medical and scientific marvels, looms the haunting question, if spring, a real spring passes us by and our life together is robbed of the inspirational and creative power of the Holy Spirit to make all things new for us?

Answer: We have gained nothing. The harsh winter of our faith will have critically maimed us, if not slain us, if we fail to stop, seek, accept and know the spiritual healing of our innermost selves.

What's to prevent that healing? Lots of things, but mainly, we should think, it'll be our pride; or to put it another way, the absence of humility among us.

In reality, we can no sooner control the whims of Nature than we can the winds of the Holy Spirit. We can only pray for their redeeming miracles and when they come, welcome and be transformed and glorified by them.