The sun comes up a little earlier, the days hold the promise of being a little warmer, the new shoots come through even though it is still cold; the possibility of a fresh start, of a reawakening and revitalising of the world and of our spirits has become a reality. Spring is such a wonderful promise of a milder cool from winter past and a milder warm of summer to come. In very few places will the weather change from the cold of winter to the warm of spring in the roll-over of the month on a calendar; in the space of the night between August and September, yet the promise of newness does seem to come in the space of that one evening. Even though it remains cold, the cold has become bearable because it now holds the promise of warmth bound up within it. It has grown warmer after winter every year, as it has grown colder after summer every year and so spring brings the promise of a heat that will come because the heat has always come and there is not much you can do to stop it from coming.
The promise and the fulfilment are bound up in each other. If the promise had never been fulfilled, it would become nothing more than an empty promise that offers no hope. If the promise is always fulfilled, then the promise would hold great value because you can be sure of it; you can put your hope in it. The promise gives hope because we are sure of what we have not yet experienced in the present because we have experienced the fulfilment in another time and space. The fulfilment is the celebration of the promise because it is the fulfilment of the hope that was received in the promise.
Faith and works are bound up in each other. My faith in the work of Christ gives me hope that I will become more than I am now and it gives me hope that we will be more than we are now. That faith would be dead if I was not more now than I was before, if we were not more than we were before. The fulfilment of that hope convicts us that we can trust that this journey will continue to be a journey of becoming more than we are. God longs for us to grow into the image we were created in and part of that journey is the gift of helping each other on that journey, is the gift of caring for each other.
A life giving faith is a faith that has Christ at its centre; a life that is guided by the Holy Spirit. A life that is guided by the Holy Spirit results in us becoming the hands and feet of Christ. A life guided by the Holy Spirit is a life that gives life as the Holy Spirit gives life. The life of faith and the life of works are bound up in the Holy Spirit. Works that are not accompanied by our faith will die and faith that is not expressed through acts of mercy is dead.
Every day that we open ourselves up to be led by the Spirit of God is a day in which the hope of something better that is found in the promise will be fulfilled.