Tuesday, 25 March 2014

Spring Power, Easter Promise.

I’ve always loved this time of year.  After the darkness and the cold of  Winter it is good to hear the birdsong, see new colour in the gardens, enjoy the longer day and see new life in the fields.  Spring is the season of new possibilities, new strength, new vision.   Philip Larkin has a poem called ‘The Trees’ in which he sees Spring as a time of new beginnings.  This only comes, however, through struggle.   The buds have been forced open, the trees are leaved again, but only after the ‘death’ of  Winter.   But from this, come May the trees will stand as a testimony that even through the struggle and the ‘death’ there can be a new beginning:

‘Yet still the unresting castles thresh
In fullgrown thickness every May.
Last year is dead, they seem to say,
Begin afresh, afresh, afresh.’ 

The season makes its impact on the poet’s heart, speaking to him of the hope that life can begin again.  It is a reminder to us that in the season of Spring we celebrate Easter and the events that have made it possible for humankind to begin again.  We remember the struggle of Jesus’ life as he identified fully with our human condition.  We remember his death that absorbed the judgement of God on the sin of the world and made forgiveness possible.  We remember his rising that points forward to a renewal of body, mind and soul at that time when all things will be made new. 

In Spring we have more than the power of nature to speak to us of better days ahead, we have the story of Jesus and its power.   It brings us the assurance that our God is with us through all our days of struggle and grief.   It brings us the assurance that we can emerge from the worst of our failures knowing that we have been forgiven.  It brings us the hope that despite the crushing darkness that is often our human experience God has fixed a time when the buds of renewal will come to full bloom and there will be a new creation for his renewed people to enjoy.   

The apostle John had a glimpse of this in these startling visions in the Book of Revelation:

‘He will wipe away every tear from their eyes and death shall be no more.
 Neither shall there be mourning or crying or pain any more for the former things have passed away.’  (Revelation 21: 4)

Enjoy the wonders of Spring but more so enjoy the promises of Easter.