March 1, 2015

Like a Lion, Like a Lamb

If March comes in like a lion,
it will go out like a lamb.

This common saying often used on March 1 can be traced back to an old English proverb that did not include the if which seems to have been added later in the 19th century.  And it is most common for weather in early March to be cold and nasty, at least more so than at the end of March.  Somewhere the reverse proposition was added that if March comes in like a lamb, it will go out like a lion. But given the long, hard winter this year, and a cold snowy beginning to March; many of us will be looking forward to warm and peaceful weather by the end of the month.

The symbols of Lion and Lamb are interesting symbols.

The Lion is known in our culture as the "King of the Beasts."  The Lion is seen not only in terms of royalty and power, but as brave and courageious - except of course in The Wizard of Oz where the Lion is cowardly.  The Bible also gives us mixed metaphors regarding the Lion. Revelation refers to "the Lion of the tribe of Judah" while in 1 Peter 5:8 the devil is likened to the Lion: "Keep alert, your accuser, the devil is on the prowl like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour."

The Lamb is often seen in our culture as meek and child-like.  In the New Testament we also get mixed metaphors.  The lamb may be one who is part of "the flock" but wanders off and needs to be rescued by the Good Shepherd who must leave the flock unprotected to search for the lost lamb.  But then again, Jesus is referred to as the "lamb of God" in both the Gospels and in Revelation.

And finally there is the vision of Isaiah (11:6-9) where the wolf and the lamb, the leopard and the kid, the calf and the lion will live together peaceably and a little child shall lead them.

I won't make any weather forecasts for March; but we may wish to reflect on the "lamb of God" who has come and is coming into our world, even as the devil is on the prowl like a roaring lion.