Spring beckons us with promises of warm days and sunshine in the days to come. The rawness and rain of March has led to flowers emerging from old beds of dirt still covered with dead leaves from last autumn. In these early days of April, as snow is a memory, doesn’t it feel like we walk in our daily ways with a little more hope in our hearts? Do you feel more lightness of being?
As Christians, our experience of hope and light is magnified at this time because together we journey not only through the transition of earthly seasons, but through holy ones as well. We have transitioned from worshiping the tender Christ child in the manger to Jesus the man tempted in the darkness and danger of the wilderness. We have followed Jesus through his many encounters with wounded and marginalized people as he healed them and astounded communities with miracles. On Palm Sunday, we bore witness to Jesus with palms and Hosanna praises that morphed into shouts of “Crucify Him.”
We gather in darkness around a last supper table and sing of crucifixion that “sometimes causes us to tremble.” But out of the dark and stifling tomb, rays of angelic light will stream forth and a resurrected Christ will emerge in the garden, comforting Mary. He is risen, we will rejoice, he is risen indeed.
For us, the emerging beauty of Spring intensifies and coincides with the holy growth of our hearts as we prepare for Easter joy and the resurrection. What’s the message of this syncopation? God promises us not just dramatic and beautiful new growth, but new creation.
Paul the apostle writes: Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away. Behold, the new has come. 2 Corinthians 5:17
You and I are on the precipice of new creation. With Christ, we become the sacred place where hopelessness gives way to belief, where hurt is transformed by comfort, where loneliness is diminished by caring community, where faithlessness is overturned by miracles, where scarcity yields to abundance, where God makes a new way out of no way. We are the place where even in our weakest and most tired moments, the feeling creeps into our bones of Christ’s energy and we hear these words reverberate in our souls – “we can do all things through Christ who strengthens us.”
Blessings on you at this holy time of year. Come and be a part of the building up of the church that arises over and over again into a new creation. Come discover what God’s new hopes and dreams are for us and our community.
Anne Lamott wrote, “Hope begins in the dark, the stubborn hope that if you just show up and try to do the right thing, the dawn will come. You wait and watch and work: you don’t give up.”
Thank you for your stubborn hope. Let’s experience the dawn together.