This time of the year Spring seems to have arrived with daffodils, new green leaves and blossom are appearing on what seemed like dead branches and signs of new life all around us if we look (even if the temperature is “not there yet”).
So it is in many ways in our Christian calendar and journey as we walk the path through Lent that we see the promising signs of Spring but we haven't quite left the winter behind yet. It can seem a dark and heavy time as we journey once again with Jesus towards Jerusalem and the shadow of the cross. The grip of Winter: Death seems to be strong on our souls. - Amongst Jesus' disciples there is a growing sense of unease and bewilderment as all their hopes and dreams of a saving Messiah seem to be crashing around them as Jesus talks of leaving them, of separation and death. Where in this picture is the sense of life, new life with all its possibilities and promise? Where are the bright and colourful buds and leaves of Spring?
Well, of course it is at the end of this journey as we move from Good Friday and the shadow of the Cross to the glorious Resurrection of Easter morning, when death itself has been overcome and the hope and promise of life for all people becomes a reality. As we are all aware we cannot have the Resurrection of Easter morning without the pain and darkness of Good Friday; life follows death – Spring follows Winter.
It is lovely to look around at the moment and see the signs and evidence of new life, of hope and promise in nature around us. Likewise, we have the same desire to see the signs and evidence of new life in our church and community.
Perhaps, when we pick a flower, or see the blossom trees in bud, or whatever makes us give thanks to God for new life, we may want to ask him too how we can be a sign of new life, of the hope and promise offered to all through Jesus through his obedience that lead to what was known as a criminal's cross.
Easter blessings, Janos