By Tom Ehrich
I am working from home today. It's cold in here, thanks to winter's brief return. Turn on the heat, you say. Can't do it. Our apartment house has switched the HVAC system to cooling mode.
We are between seasons.
It was between-seasons time for my granddaughter yesterday, too. I spend time with her every Thursday afternoon. At four months, she is ready to roll over, sit up, interact with her world, and smile. Ready, but not ready. Still confused by rolling, not quite strong enough for sitting up, still governed by hunger and drowsiness.
A month from today, between-seasons will arrive for my youngest son, as his college Class of 2014 commences into a world that has few jobs outside technology, little affordable housing, and a whole lot of uncertainty about future prospects.
I think it's between-seasons for God, too. I know we liturgically minded folks like to see time as circular, which makes this our annual journey through Holy Week. Actual time is linear, however, and God's time is whatever it is, but probably not a pleasing cycle of religious festivals.
In God's eyes, I suspect we are like my four-month-old granddaughter: ready but not ready. And God is wondering when, if ever, we will be ready. Can we possibly need to hear the Sermon on the Mount one more time before we comprehend its absolute centrality to our lives?
Yes, yes, maybe we will put on the Easter service to end all Easter services this year. But at some point, we need to hear the "Alleluia! He is risen!" and take it so seriously that nothing remains the same. That won't happen because we did the service better. It will happen because we stopped resisting.
Between-seasons can't go on forever.