After how many years do I still get a sense of expectancy when I turn a page and run into the red letters in my Bible? Jesus’ words to us are enigmatic while at the same time alluring, carefully crafted verse not literate in the sense of being playfully self-conscious or experimental but rich with layers of profundity, revealed over time with facets and perspectives unseen previously, just as the angle of the sun reveals different views with the changing seasons. How else can a person who sees the same familiar landscape over dozens of winters and summers have a different understanding of it when the first spring bulbs arise as from death the next Spring?
So, Jesus’ words are surprising and revealing, not that the letters and order have changed, but the eyes observing them see a little differently, and the heart that receives them is perhaps grown a little more. But grown how? Truth is we can grow hard, soil depleted and used up when arguments and betrayal turn us away from intimacy, when harsh words and unthinking actions leave bitter roots. We stop seeing signs of new life, when we stop looking. Or we can grow rich, deep both in griefs endured and in joys celebrated, with capacity increased to experience more and more fully.
Question is: as we go through progressive seasons of age and rediscover familiar blooms, do we recognize more hope?
For that is the bud of faith, reaching to the rising Son come upon us anew.