You may have walked through the woods in the spring and been surprised by an abundance of small wildflowers and then returned later in the year to find that the flowers had disappeared, leaves and all. They didn’t die. They just went dormant until next spring. If you are a small flower it doesn’t make much sense to try to grow in the shade of bigger trees and plants, so they bloom before the trees leaf out and then are unseen until the next spring. This has given them the name of “spring ephemerals.” Ephemeral means something that is over and done in a short time.

My favorite spring ephemeral isn’t a flower, but a vegetable – ramps (sometimes called wild leeks). Ramps are small, onion-like bulbs with two flat leaves that resemble trout lily leaves without the spots. They are mild and absolutely delicious. They are also all the rage with fancy restaurants and chefs. I love them slightly charred on the grill. They are the very essence of spring because, soon, they will be invisible and impossible to find until next year.

Many of the great delights in life are ephemeral – like the excitement of having Pastor Sam Childers (Machine Gun Preacher) in worship this past Mother’s Day. With the three services that day, it was the largest crowd we’ve had on a Sunday since COVID. And what an inspiring message! It feels like a bit of a letdown to go back to just a “regular” Sunday. But one of the things that makes spiritual moments like that so powerful is that they are ephemeral. They stand out because they aren’t ordinary.

When the disciples were given a glimpse of Jesus’ glory on the mountaintop they wanted to make that special moment last forever, so Peter proposed building booths for them there. But that vision of glory was only meant for a brief time. Jesus’ glory would always be there of course, but they could see it only for a little while. It was ephemeral. Just like ramps and woodland wildflowers. 

All too quickly spring ephemerals are no longer visible, and it seems like they are gone for good; but they are just waiting for the right moment next spring to bless us again. So, too, with God. It may seem like God is not there, but even if we can’t see him, he is still with us, waiting for the right time to surprise us again with another blessing.

Enjoy this wonderful spring week.

Pastor Mark

“As I was with Moses, so I will be with you; I will never leave you nor forsake you.” – Joshua 1:5b