As I write, the earth hurtles round the Sun at a speed of about 66,000 mph. The equator spins at about 1000mph, reducing towards the poles. The Sun and Solar System are part of the Milky Way which as well as including almost every star you can see with your naked eye also includes the cloudy haze above you on a clear night – billions of stars like the Sun. We Solar System members together hurtle round as part of a spinning Milky Way at a speeds of around 483,000 mph (quite a milk shake!) – and it takes us approximately 225 million years to make the trip around our Galaxy (we might get round before the end of my next sermon…!) The Milky Way itself is also in motion with the universe as it continues the expansion of the Big Bang; we are rocketing towards the constellation of Leo and Virgo at a cool 1.3 million miles per hour. Such are interstellar distances that the night sky to all intents and purposes has remained unchanged throughout recorded human history.
We can’t feel or influence any of this. Yet while we spin, hurtle and rocket in unimaginable vast space, bulbs in my garden pop their little green heads up at a speed of about a millimeter a day as I await our fleeting daffodils.
What am I saying? Well, while seismic changes go on all the time, tiny beautiful things also go on at a wholly different scale. The world and western culture and our country are undergoing enormous change. Some of it we can influence – and where we can we should, with God’s help, in the name of love and of justice. That is Christian discipleship. However there is much we can’t change; accepting this fact is also truly Christian.
But we can be daffodils. We can go through the seemingly infinitesimally puny and undetectable changes and chances of our own tiny lives – and grow into something beautiful. Lent is a time where – in the words of Moses of old – we choose life. Where we are. Today. We choose ‘Life in abundance’ as Jesus put it – life which is about chances and changes and seasons, death and resurrection.
Choose life this Lent, in Christ’s name!