Spring is here and with it comes the annual reminder that resurrection is built into the very fabric of creation.
We have experienced the death and decay of fall and winter and are on the edge of recreation and new life as spring returns.
Snow has only just left the ground as flowers break through the earth and trees begin to bud to signal spring’s triumphant return. Snow birds (both avian and human varieties) migrate back to their northern homes. Some of us have already begun yard work and spring cleaning.
For some of us, fall and winter are still very much of our current existential reality. Nature may be reawakening but our personal lives may still be experiencing loss.
While we celebrate new life in spring, we also acknowledge that death and loss and hardships are still very much a part of our lives.
I pray for all of us who are still experiencing winter in some part of our life, from illness to the death of a loved one to the loss of a relationship to the hardships of mental health, and so on.
I do not wish to rush us through these seasons. They come and they go and each have something to teach us about ourselves, about life, and about God. I encourage you to not walk through the seasons alone.
The seasons of decay and death are too heavy to bear on your own and the seasons of growth and life are too precious to enjoy in solitude.
We are called to journey through these seasons together as brothers and sisters in Christ. Don’t be afraid to call others to be a part of your journey. Don’t be afraid to seek out a counselor.
However far into winter we may personally be, I want to remind us spring is on the horizon. I don’t say this as a false hope or as a way to simply think positively and will ourselves out of winter. I say these things because it is part of the natural course of things.
We can chart the way the seasons change in our own lives: in our relationships, in our careers, in our personal growth, and even in our connection to God.
As sure as winter turns to spring, the seasons in our life also change. Winter may seem excruciatingly long but spring is coming.
Our God is about new life. Scripture is filled with images of new life or new creation. Jesus tells Nicodemus in John 3 that he must be born again by the Spirit. Peter tells the crowd in Acts 2 to repent and receive the Holy Spirit.
The writer of Revelation says God is doing a new thing and talks about a new heaven and a new earth! The Apostle Paul writes in 2 Corinthians 5, “... If anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!”
The foundational story of our faith, the resurrection of Jesus, reminds us that death is not the end but the beginning of new life!
Death has lost its victory. It has no more sting. It has no more power.
New life is on the way. We may find ourselves walking in the valley of the shadow of death, and we may be wandering for a long time, but God is there with the promise of new life.
Remember, friends, we are Easter people. We who follow Jesus are people who have eternal hope for spring, no matter how long and harsh the winter is.
May you find comfort that new life is always on the way as you hear the birds sing, see the flowers bloom, and witness the leaves sprout on the trees.
May you find comfort as we celebrate the story of the resurrection of Jesus where we are reminded new life always triumphs over death.