“…Now the winter is past, the rain is over and gone. The flowers appear on the earth;
the time of singing has come, and the voice of the turtledove is heard in our land.”
– Song of Solomon 2:11-12
Well, these words from scripture may seem a bit premature. In fact, the rain has only recently come, and it followed a surprising stretch of cool and windy days. But the days are getting longer, and soon we will experience the blessing of Daylight Saving Time. I have seen buds opening up in our garden at home, and the promise of the earth’s renewal is all around us.
One of the central themes of the Christian life is the opportunity to make a new beginning. That’s behind Jesus’ invitation to “repent, and believe in the gospel.” To repent is to turn in a new direction, to start over. The story of God’s people is the story of new beginning after new beginning. When we find ourselves headed in a direction that no longer makes any sense, we stop, turn around, and try a new path. In the Bible, even God gets stuck at times, and has to do the same. Genesis, Exodus and Jonah all use the term “repent” to describe what people saw as a change in God’s mind.
The journey from Lent, into Holy Week and finally to Easter, is a dramatic expression of the lengths and depths to which God will go to offer us this new beginning. In these coming weeks, I invite you to be open to the possibility that this gift remains available to you, and to others. Not everyone will take up that opportunity, but it remains open to all. Whether we have given up on someone – even if that someone is ourselves – God has not, and is working even now to bring healing and hope to those who are broken. That is the word of grace that comes to us in and through these days.
I also want to let you know that progress continues toward the start of work on our new educational facilities, scheduled to break ground later this Spring. We have most of the approvals in hand for the permanent structures. Next is the completion of permits and approvals for the portable temporary classrooms to be installed in the new parking lot, alongside Crenshaw Blvd. This will allow us to continue our excellent children’s programs, from Preschool and Kid Zone to Sunday School and Vacation Bible Camp while we are under construction. If all goes as planned, the portables will be in place by the end of May, so that demolition can go forward in June. Our goal is for that to take place after Preschool Graduation and before the start of Summer School.
As we move closer to groundbreaking, we will be putting together a regular email construction update, outlining progress and sharing pictures of the work. When that’s ready, we’ll provide an easy sign-up so that anyone who’s interested can do so.
The original classroom buildings served us for fifty years, but as the One who was seated on the throne says in Revelation 21:5, “Behold, I am making all things new.”
Grace and peace,