Spring has Sprung! The flowers in my garden are budding and fresh new leaves are growing on the trees. There is nothing like it! The gradual growth is stunning this time of the year. Some days it appears that the new growth just pops right up without delay. Mostly, though, I see the new growth bud forth over days or even weeks.
Since Easter we have been reading the Acts of the Apostles with the early Christian followers forming the first communities of believers and the apostles gradually growing into their new roles. Jesus left them, of course, but continued to guide them. It was a new experience for everyone in that early Church after the death and resurrection.
As spring develops gradually, our understanding of what it means to live as Jesus taught, and to preach His message, develops gradually too. The apostles faced challenges not just with forming new communities but with those still pursuing them for being followers of Jesus. Today, for instance, the reading was about their gradual recognition of what Jesus meant by being baptized in the Holy Spirit and not just water.
Like us, I think the early church Christians would have loved to have everything pop forth easily. Yet, it is in the growth process that we appreciate the message and are able to form our ideas or actions more clearly. The growth of the flowers and trees enable us to see the many incredible stages of new life blooming. The growth of our faith over time allows us to see and understand the message of Jesus more fully.
What is springing up in your life?