In the Northern hemisphere, our Easter coincides with Spring. Grass that laid dormant through winter starts to green. Bare deciduous trees begin to bud and blossom. The crocus and the tulips and the daffodils burst from their hard ground in all their glory and the wildflowers spring to life, painting the landscape brilliant reds and golds, violets and greens. The animals who have slept or hidden away through the winter season, venture forth on the warmer days. Everywhere we look, the world is teeming with life! Is it any wonder that for centuries poets and hymn writers looked this seasonal cycle of death and rebirth and saw it as a metaphor for resurrection?! Consider these lines from Christina Rossetti’s Easter Carol:
Flash forth, thou Sun,
The rain is over and gone, its work is done.
Winter is past,
Sweet Spring is come at last, is come at last.
Or the hymn Now the Green Blade Riseth (hymn #311 in our hymnal), which announces:
Now the green blade riseth, from the buried grain,
Wheat that in the dark earth many days has lain,
Love lives again, that with the dead has been
Live is come again like wheat that springeth green.
There is something so evocative about the world bounding back to life that reminds us not only of Christ’s resurrection but also Christ’s promise of new life to us in Him!
This last year has been a hard one for all of us. We have not been able to meet in person as a church much. We have had our lives constricted by masks, social-distancing, and travel restrictions. Some of us have faced economic hardship, personal struggles, the loss of loved ones and friends, anxiety, and depression. It has been a difficult year.
But with the changing of the season—liturgically with Easter and with the coming of Spring—we are invited to look around us for signs of life! What have you seen poking through this cold hard ground? What are you hoping to grow as you begin to tend your garden beds? What are the ways that Christ is calling out of hibernation? What are the things that are bringing you hope right now?
The church has not been dead. The work of the church has never stopped, and we have been fortunate to bless the community with our PALM Dinners, with our food bank, with blankets and masks for Marta’s house (thank you United Methodist Women!) and people in crisis through our discretionary fund. But in this season of Resurrection, may we sense together the life that Christ is calling us to and calling forth in us.