Dear Members and Friends,
I like Spring. Days are longer and warmer. Daffodils and crocus’ bloom. The grass greens. I hear birds. I see them building nests. Bicycles come out. Joggers appear in ever greater numbers. We see people out and about, often with newfound spring resolutions to become more fit. There is energy. There is hope.
I like those moments when I can sit back, pretend I’m a cat, and soak up rays of sunshine while taking that “cat nap” in the sun. It is even better after having accomplished a few chores.
Life can be and is good.
We forget about the goodness of life especially when winter drags on. Truth be told, winter is what sets up spring to be a special time of year. Just as challenging days help us to appreciate more peaceful and relaxed ones, winter grants us perspective to appreciate Spring.
This is the season where we Christians think about Easter. When we follow the lectionary (most Sundays), we read the passages related with the Resurrected Christ. The empty tomb, experiences with the Resurrected Christ, have greater meaning in light of crucifixion, death on the cross, and burial in a tomb sealed with stone. The message: God is a one of life. In the beginning when there was nothing, yes nothing, God spoke. Life came into being. When Jesus was sealed in a tomb, God spoke, and resurrection occurred. When the disciples were hiding, full of fear, God came and said, “Peace.” The disciples experienced resurrection, their fears were dispelled, they were filled with the power of the Spirit and emerged from the tomb (the house where they were hiding).
I confess, early in ministry I did not care for the Easter passages, every year for five plus Sundays repeating the same message. As time has passed, I have grown to love them. The stories of women running away, daring to hope, yet afraid of hoping; of Peter racing to see for himself; disciples meeting the Christ in the face of a stranger as they were abandoning Jerusalem and going home, only to turn back filled with hope after experiencing his presence in a stranger; of Peter and the other disciples
going to the sea and fishing because they were so numb that they just had to return to routines only to have an incredible transformative experience there on the seashore that called them to not hide away but to feed God’s sheep. These are powerful stories about finding hope and energy, when all was lost. It’s springtime. The “son” is shining, and the warmth of those rays makes the sap run in our veins and we become young again.
Thank you God for springtime after winter, for Easter after Good Friday. Help me/us to apply these lessons to my/our life/lives, and not simply have them as concepts but allow them to shape who I/we am/are right now. Help me/us. Help US to be an Easter people full of hope, believing in the power of resurrection in church and throughout life.
As a P.S. May is a month that has lots of celebrations of life. This is no mistake. May baskets, the surprise delivery of a basket full of goodness on someone’s doorstep. May Day—that pagan custom of dancing around the maypole. It may not be something we do, but the idea is about enjoying life. There is Mother’s Day—all about life. It is the month that has both Soil Conservation Week and Rural Life Sunday. Strangely enough, Memorial Day is also about life. It remembers those who died so that those they loved could have life.
Grace, HOPE, Peace, Joy;