“For when the house is clean, the yard is immaculate, and the party invitations are perfect yay verily you will be near the kingdom of God…”
- 2nd Assumptions 1:2
“When you get yourself together, when you are no longer anxious or frazzled, and when you have enough money, better friends and fix your family- lo will the blessing of heaven be yours in abundance…”
- 2nd Assumptions 3:4
“Ye will miss out.”
- 3rd Fears 5:6
Recently, I heard someone talking about ‘May madness.’ I did not know what they meant by the phrase. Yet, as they explained the idea I realized that I understood completely. End of school activities, summer plans, graduation plans and parties (high school, college, preschool, 5th grade, 8th grade…), trip planning and projects around the house.
“It feels like too much,” they said. “It is an overwhelming month…”
Do you know anything about ‘May madness’? I don’t think it is merely a trick of the calendar…that feeling that there is more to do than time to do it in maybe more acute in certain seasons but happens year-round. Particularly when I am reading more from 2nd Assumptions (not a real book) and from Fear and Shame (also not real books but they sure have loud voices sometimes) rather than the story God has invited me into.
We are immersed in the story that we must live up to an image, we must keep up with the Joneses, and we are haunted by the fear that we are falling short and missing out.
The baptism of Jesus invites us into a better story and a more abundant life.
When all the people were being baptized, Jesus was baptized too. And, as he was praying, heaven was opened and the Holy Spirit descended on him in bodily form like a dove. And a voice came from heaven, “'You are my Son, whom I love; with you I am well pleased.'… Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit, left the Jordan and was led by the Spirit into the wilderness,” Luke 3:21-22, 4:1 (Real Book).
The source of our hope and the center of our faith is that we have been joined in the redemptive story of God through Jesus Christ (go read the first chapter of Colossians). Therefore, what is declared over, in, and through Jesus is ours by God’s grace and ‘family’ inheritance.
So when May, or the schedule, or the social media feed of others, or the repeated story of the good life we almost have but can’t quite get a hold of starts to feel overwhelming remember: in Jesus, you belong, you are loved, and God delights in calling you to a purpose. This is not something we must achieve or earn (though we sure try) instead we are to receive it and let it launch us into the adventure of abundant life that God desires and designed us for.
May heaven open, the Spirit descends and God’s love be proclaimed,