March – that month of the year when summer and winter battle for control of the weather. March is the only month that is always included in Lent – that season when we consider the madness of the human condition. March is when we begin to feel guilty about not doing our spring cleaning. And finally, March is that one time of year when we think about college basketball, (unless we hail from IN, KY, NC, NY, KS) – and what madness it is!
How do we manage the madness?
I want to suggest that this season is a fantastic time to live the Gospel in our very lives and to share that same Gospel with others. I believe that the Gospel is Jesus – He is Good News to anyone who will receive Him as Good News. And every single one of us needs the Gospel of Peace in these maddening times. We need His peace when we feel guilty or ashamed of our yard. We need His comfort when our bracket is busted – especially if we were stupid enough to wager on 20-year-olds. We need His promise that we are forgiven when we give into our flesh and don’t live by faith.
I would like to suggest a couple ways that we can manage this madness by making this month a season of community, worship, and mission.
I would suggest that the warm weather affords us unique opportunities to share the Gospel with those around us – but only if we engage in community. What if we invited our neighbors to help us with a spring project? Why do we not ask our neighbors for help? Is it because we don’t want help? Don’t know your neighbors? Start with the first level of community and say, “Hello!”
The madness of March gives us incredible opportunities to talk about the weather. This is significant, because the second level of community is to share facts – “It is warmer today than last weekend.” The third level of community is to share opinions or feelings, “I love this weather!” For those of you who are college basketball fans the whole conversation can center on your bracket(s), “My bracket is busted. How about yours? I love when everyone is miserable with me!”
The beautiful thing about community is that it is part of the good news – we are always invited into community. We are always invited into a deeper level of community with the Community of the Godhead and we are always invited into deeper community with one another. Therefore, to engage in community with your neighbor is to engage in the Gospel.
Might I suggest that another step in experiencing peace in the midst of the madness, is to center our rhythm of life on to Jesus. How are you practicing “withness” in your rhythm? This is the very essence of offering everything you do as worship. Many of us are not experiencing the peace that surpasses all understanding because we are not living our lives with Jesus but segmented from Him. We would rather embrace the worry that comes with the madness than present our madness to Him, (Philippians 4:6-7).
Finally, we must embrace our identity as being the Body of Christ sent into the world to be His hands and feet. We are to carry out His mission in the world as He fills us with His Spirit. We are sent to be in the world but not of the world. This means that if He came to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor, then we are to proclaim the same Gospel. Let us be clear about the Reason for our peace in the madness.
How will you embrace the madness of March?