Spring, Ah Spring
Are you ready? Absolutely! Of course as I write this article, we are looking at a forecast of another 4 inches of snow and while the sun is brightly shining, the temperature has still not broken above 32 degrees, so another sub-freezing day. But with the season of Lent starting, it is inevitable that spring will be here. Lent is actually a form of an old English word, which means to lengthen. And so it is that during the days of lent we see a lengthening, the lengthening of the day. There is gradually an increase in the hours of daylight and a decrease in the hours of darkness, and that is a sure indication of spring. Because not only do the days get longer, but also the sun is warmer and the earth begins to awaken from its winter sleep, and there is the promise of new life.
New life, that is one of the most wonderful things about Spring - the revealing of the new life. Some early flowers poking their stems up through the melting snow, and even blooming while still sitting in the snow mark this time. Even the other day I was certain that I heard a bird sing. And so now begins the process of new nest building for birds and animals. Some of us are watchful and hoping that the family of foxes returns to the area around the cemetery near our church to have their litter of pups, which has the benefit of keeping the geese out of the area. In many ways new life will be springing up all around us and we will rejoice and be happy with that new life.
And this idea of new life is also promised to us as we go through the Lenten Season culminating in the crucifixion of Jesus and his burial. Because the wonderful prediction and promise of Jesus is that on the third day he will rise to new life. And on Easter Sunday we see that promise fulfilled and thus new life becomes a reality for us.
Listen to what Jesus says to Lazarus’ sister Martha in the 11th Chapter of John’s Gospel. Jesus has come to raise Lazarus from the dead and asks his sister Martha if she believes that her brother will live again. She says he will on the last day. But listen to what Jesus says to her. “I am the resurrection and the life. Whoever believes in me, though he dies, yet shall he live, and everyone who lives and believes in me shall never die. Do you believe this?”
This is the fabulous promise that we see play out in front of us every year. In the fall living things die. They rest under the coating of snow during the winter and then with the lengthening of the days, new life springs forth. God’s beautiful creation gives credence and evidence of the great promise that Jesus gives and then fulfills with his death on the cross, his rest in the grave and then his resurrection to new life. How great is our God? He doesn’t ask us to believe things that we can’t understand. He shows us that the miracle of resurrected life is played out every year in the change of the seasons, the cycle of life. And He says if I can do that, why do you not believe that Jesus can rise from the dead and live? And that you too can live, through faith in Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior, the promise of new life, eternal life is there for you.
Spring, Ah Spring, new life – Thank you Jesus.
O Lord, each one of your commandments accuses me, how often I have sinned against others. I throw myself in the dust before you and pray you to be gracious to me a poor sinful being. Graciously let your Word and the Holy Spirit change me and move my heart and speech to show true love for my neighbor. In Jesus’ name. Amen.