A Prophecy of Spring
"Now, here is a lesson from a fig tree. When its buds become tender and its leaves begin to sprout, you know that spring has come. And when you see these things happening that I've described, you can be sure that my return is very near, that I am right at the door.
"Yes, these are the events that will signal the end of the age. Heaven and earth shall disappear, but my words stand sure forever." Mark 13: 28-31
Oystein Brinch lives in Oslo, Norway. Winter can be a challenge in Norway. They have only a couple hours of sunshine each day which means it is largely cold and quiet. Even the birds are silent with one main exception: the coal tit.
Oystein can be at his forest cabin in January and hear the coal tits singing from the large spruce tree outside. For Oystein, the solitary song of this bird is a prophecy of spring, warmth, and sunshine. The snow will melt. Green leaves will grow. Life will return.
Life is not always easy. Disappointments, health challenges, and the death of loved ones can feel like the dark, cold, quiet days of a Norwegian winter. They find themselves wondering: When will the light return? When will I feel peace?
In the lesson of the fig tree, Jesus tells us that the love of God is always near, even when the darkness overwhelms us. Oystein listens to the coal tits singing in January, and he senses God is near.
Prayer: Dear Lord, thank you for letting us know that you are near, even in the darkness of winter. We pray in the name of Jesus. Amen.