This morning, the sky is clear blue and a high wind, a March wind, sways the bare treetops. Never mind that we have one more day of February – this Leap Year day – it almost doesn’t count except it’s a catch up day.
It smells and feels like spring, regardless of the date.
Lent is like that early spring wind: when Lent arrives, you know spring won’t be far behind. Lent is a spiritual spring-cleaning, opening the windows of the soul to let in new light and fresh air for rebirth.
There’s another side to the spring wind, however. Last night’s spring thunderstorm brought tornadoes with it across southern Kansas and Missouri and north of us into Illinois. Just south of us, the small town of Buffalo, Missouri was hit as was Branson.
Destruction and rebirth walking hand in hand. That’s not a new story.
Today’s first reading is from the story of Jonah (as in Jonah and the whale Jonah) and the near-destruction of the great city, Nineveh. We get part of the story here, how God repented from destroying the city because the people “turned from their evil ways…” But there’s more – after God repents, Jonah complains: so you could have done this without me. If you were going to spare them anyway, I wouldn’t have had to leave home, be swallowed by a whale, lost at sea. And God wisely says, your comfort is more important than these thousands of people to say nothing of their animals?
We humans, we’re very good at complaining.
The Psalm reading says, in part, “Create in me a clean heart, O God…”
It’s spring-cleaning time. What are your complaints? How will you brush them from your soul? What would your clean heart look like? Feel like?