Muddy Discipleship

Dear Friends,

I would like to offer a brief reflection on the season that we find ourselves in at the beginning of April. This time of early Spring is often hard to get through. You wake up any morning and you never know what kind of weather is ready to ambush you that day. Snow? Rain? Gray? Sun? It’s always a surprise. And oh, the mud! The other day my family tried to take a walk in the UW Arboretum, only to turn around five minutes in after my 21 month-old son slipped into a mud-puddle up to his waist.

Mud sticks out to me as a prominent feature of early spring. As the earth begins to thaw after its long dormancy during the bitter, frozen days of winter, but before the lush greenery of new life makes its entrance, we’re left with the mud. Mud isn’t pretty. It can be annoying when it sticks to your shoes and then crumbles all over the place after it dries. It sometimes even smells bad. But I’m beginning to realize that the mud also serves a very important purpose. That is, it is a necessary intermediate stage required for seeds to sprout and form into tender green shoots. These small, weak sprouts wouldn’t have a chance if they didn’t have the soft, warm mud to push through. The mud enables the new life to come into being.

What does all this have to do with discipleship, or our life of faith? Well, I think that it is an immense benefit to us as Christians (at least in our hemisphere) that the church season of Lent begins in the dark of winter and progresses up to Easter throughout this muddy time. Lent, which began in mid-February, is a time when we are asked to look honestly at ourselves and reflect on our human condition. The promise is that this introspection, when rightly covered with the warmth of God’s mercy and love for us, can transform us from individuals with frozen hearts to people with soft…dare I say “muddy”…hearts ready to receive the sprout of God’s new life at Easter. In these next few weeks of early spring, as we prepare ourselves for Easter, my hope for you is that you begin to look at mud—on the ground, and even in your own heart—and see the promise of God’s resurrection life ready to break through.

Grace and peace,

Kate Sweet

Other updates from the Discipleship Team - Spring Growth Groups are up and running! Groups run through the end of May, and are following along with the sermon series, The Story. If you’d like more information, please contact Kate: ksweet@peoplesumc.org.

Sue Koch