March - a bridging month between Winter and Spring, a time of looking forward with hope…to brighter evenings, to warmer weather and to the celebration of Easter.
I love this time of year. I enjoy the lift in spirits of friends and colleagues who, unlike me, hate the Winter. I relish the increased likelihood of outdoor exercise. I'm thankful for the return to daylight commutes to and from the office. This morning, I had to use my sun visor on my way to work!
In work, March generally offers me some space to invest creative time in new things - preparing for Shine, starting the process of planning and promoting Ignite, finally joining Rachel with all work she's been doing on the new website (which is coming soon).
But above all, I love the countdown to Easter - especially Holy Week, which I always take off.
Our culture seems pretty adept at helping us overlook this most important of holidays. We need to work hard to participate, to celebrate, to care. Easter isn't a big deal in our society. For years, Northern Ireland has chosen to prefer Easter Tuesday over Good Friday as a public holiday. How did that happen?
March is the month when we can choose a different path - a month when we can return once again to the story that changes everything. It's a story of total loss and absolute gain, a story of renewal, hope and redemption. It's a story that connects us to our God and connects us to each other... a story that lies at the heart of all that CMSI does and all that our partners do, as they transform lives and communities.
And it's a story that invites each of us in and that sends us out: in, to rediscover God's great gift of grace; out, to share this gift with our world.
In what remains of this fine month, may we each make choices that bring life to us and to those God has called us to love.