Monday, March 10, 2008
I have to admit that I have long been a basketball fan. What can I say--born and raised in Indiana. I remember the year my small high school made it to regionals in the state tournament. The motorcade must have been a half mile long, including several busses full of people. We were escorted by what seemed to be the entire Whiteland, IN police department (although that really isn't saying much). That love of tournament basketball, of course, has continued in the form of the NCAA tournament every March. I haven't watched a game all year, and yet it is about time to get caught up. The truth is, the tournament has always carried me through the waining days of winter. March comes, I am ready for warm weather, and yet it seems that often winter lingers. But the tournament carries me through. By the time a champion is crowned, it is early April and there are a number of warmer days to balance any cold days.
However, this year I don't know who will be in the tournament, and I have no opinions as to who should be in the tournament. This is a fairly rare occurrence. And it is all due, it seems, to another kind of March Madness--an early Easter. Lent has marched along beginning nearly a month after Christmas and taken us right to the middle of march. Unbelievably, Palm Sunday is next week--This year Easter will escort me to the spring weather. It is appropriate that the resurrection of Christ, not basketball, is my marker of hope at the end of this dark and hopeless season that is winter.
What is this madness that we celebrate this march? A man exalted before an exuberant crowd only to be killed by an equally exuberant mob? The appearance of the resurrected Christ, to which the disciples respond by going back to what they did before Jesus came along--fishing. It is a crazy season, and I can't say I really understand it--and yet it does bring hope of new life--not just the appearance of green on brown branches, but truly new and abundant life!
Posted by Eric Helms at 7:54 PM