Recently, in the comic strip Frank and Ernest, creator Bob Thaves, shows his two characters outside shooting hoops on a partially snow covered basketball court. They are shivering in their shorts and t-shirts. One character comments: “It’s crazy! One day it’s 70 degrees and sunny, then the next day there’s a foot of snow! This is the real March Madness.”
While March has become famous for the NCAA men’s basketball tournament and the madness it brings to college basketball teams and their fans, March is also known for the transformation of winter letting go and spring trying to arrive. Toss in St. Patrick’s Day, the season of Lent, maybe Easter, and March can be a bit chaotic.
But, if we really took time to think about our twelve months, I think we might discover bits of madness in each one.
For example, back on February 12, I went for an early morning run. I noted in my running journal entry—it was 65 degrees, and I ran in shorts. I’m not supposed to go for a run wearing shorts in February—that’s madness!
But back to March for a minute. This year, Spring arrived on Tuesday, March 20.
That night, we had a local forecast for snow. Sure enough, Wednesday morning snow was falling. The heavy wet snow fell with such a burst of sustained tenacity that superindendents closed schools for the day.
Daffodils, flowering trees and shrubs, along with the birds didn’t know what to think about this madness.
Thankfully, this was a true southern snowstorm. It disrupted Wednesday. But, by late Thursday afternoon, bright sunny skies with rising temperatures had melted the snow—it was gone.
Now, we were back to Spring attempting again to emerge.
We want winter to be a disappearing speck in our rear view mirrors. This change is needed. Come on winter let go, and let spring have all of its allocated days.
Perhaps, the seasons of the church also have a touch of madness.
The commercial trappings of Christmas can create an unbearable madness.
No matter when it falls, March or April, Holy Week is madness.
Palm Sunday arrives full of vitality, followed by the challenges found later in the week.
The “it’s crazy” comment from Frank and Ernest seems appropriate for Holy Week.
Just like the seasonal tugging of territory between winter and spring, understanding Holy Week remains an internal tug of pondering for me too.
It is a question I ask alot—how could this happen to Jesus?
I ask the same “how could” question about our recurring tragic headlines— Parkland, Florida, Syria, Charlottesville, Virginia.
Sadly, no matter where I look meanness, hate, and incivility appear to dominate.
At times, I wonder if the world has really changed that much since the death of Jesus?
It is a crazy world.
But, does it have to be?
Sadly, the world seems incapable of change, and you know who else is incapable of change—me!
If I want meanness, hatred, and incivility to tumble forever over the horizon, I must change.
If I want to find hope in the resurrection at the end of Holy Week, I must change.
If I want to change me to become part of the solution, then I must sacrifice.
And for that to happen, I must completely embrace Romans 12:12:
“Love puts up with all things, trusts in all things, hopes for all things, endures all things.”