Winter and Spring in the Christian Life, Two New Podcasts

Winter and Spring in the Christian Life, Two New Podcasts

It has been an odd winter here in “snowy west Michigan.” When I walk outside, I can expect a “crunch” when I walk in a nearby park — but as likely as not, it will be the crunch of leaves rather than snow. For a couple of days, snow will fall and my children will rejoice. But then the sun comes out, the weather gets warm, and it acts like spring.

It’s January. I know it’s not spring yet. But this weather can be confusing. Is it time to burrow in, to hibernate for the winter? Is it time for the grass to start growing again? When will we start to see the animals come out for spring with their young? My kids have been debating questions like these. Both of them love winter, but the seesaw, back and forth, has left them disoriented…

I’m late in the process of writing a book about embracing our mortality and cultivating resurrection hope. How do the two fit together? Is it like winter and spring, our attitudes swinging back and forth? Or should we embrace the notion that we’re in the winter of the Christian life, awaiting “spring” in the age to come? It can be confusing. I do know that it’s important to place our hope in treasures that won’t freeze tomorrow when the winter frost hits. And yet, when the sunshine comes out, even in January, it’s worth enjoying — breathing deep, giving thanks, and soaking in the rays of light.

I have two new podcasts which have been recently released — one related to the joy of sunshine in the celebration of the Lord’s Supper, and the other related to coming to God in lament and embracing our mortality before the Almighty. Spring and winter, winter and spring. Yet, even in the second podcast about lament and mortality, there are moments of spring as well.

Enjoy, and feel free to share with others. If you’re like me, you can become disoriented about what time it is — even about what season it is. May these conversations help you in discerning the moments of spring and winter in the Christian life.

On the Lord’s Supper:

On lament and embracing our mortality before God:

For the second podcast, here are the “show notes” that give an overview of the interview:

  • 0:00—Begin interview
  • 2:25—J. Todd Billings’s story and cancer diagnosis
  • 7:40—Praying for healing and praying the Psalms
  • 8:42—”An abundant life in Christ is not measured in years.”
  • 12:07—A reading from Psalm 102
  • 13:00—Theological thoughts on facing death
  • 16:42—Prayer as complaint
  • 25:48—Intermission
  • 27:52—San Francisco’s prohibition of burials and removal of cemeteries
  • 29:19—How contemporary society talks about death
  • 33:32—Ars moriendi, the art of dying well
  • 34:00—Reference to Martin Luther: “You should think of death frequently.”
  • 37:40—Reflecting on beauty in facing death
  • 48:50—Denying our creaturely limitations
  • 51:28—Grace vs. loss
  • 53:28—What is hope?
  • 54:45—End interview, credits

(photo by stoneysteiner, Creative Commons)