“May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that you may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.”
Friday, February 2nd is known as Groundhog Day and if you have been around Sun Prairie long enough, you know that we consider ourselves the Groundhog Capital of the World and have since 1948. Jimmy the groundhog is the one that predicts each year whether it will be an early spring or we will struggle through six more weeks of winter. If Jimmy sees his shadow, six more weeks of winter is looming. If he does not see his shadow, an early spring will be at hand.
I was among the Sun Prairie faithful that gathered in below zero temperatures this past Friday morning to eagerly wait for Jimmy to give his prediction to the city mayor. Among all the fanfare and festivities surrounding Groundhog Day, is a true sense of community. In the midst of Groundhog Day legends and good-natured competition with a groundhog named Phil in Punxsutawney, PA, there is much to be said for this way to gather as community and share in the mystery, the wonder and the fun of Groundhog Day.
And each year we hope! Even though we live in Wisconsin, we hope that Jimmy will not see his shadow and an early spring will be predicted. But, much like the movie, Groundhog Day, in which actor Bill Murray is caught in a time loop and keeps living the same day over and over; it seems that spring always takes six weeks or a month and a half from February 2nd to get here!
But still, like Jimmy, we can offer hope within community. As a church, we continue in our ministry plan of H.O.P.E., which is sharing Hospitality, Offering Christ, Purposeful Living and Engaging the community. Grounded in God’s love and inspired by Jimmy, may we keep predicting this kind of H.O.P.E.!