That was a long winter I think! My wife and I returned from the south at the end of February, hoping we were clear of the majority of snow, ice, cold and all the stuff of winter but alas - even April held snow for us!
It is, nonetheless, good to be back and roaming about again as your Voluntary Associate Minister.
If you are like me, you have been soaking up the more recent sunshine and warm temperatures, lovely light to cheer us up. I believe we are hard-wired to long for and seek signs of new life that remind us of the spring around us and the spring within us. The signs of spring will begin to bloom soon - bulbs planted deep in the earth will begin to sprout and the wonder of flowers, the scent of spring, will be upon us. Even the street sweepers are out dusting away all the winter grime!
The foliage will go from bare and brown to budding green against the blue crisp sky that lasts longer and longer in the days ahead.
The new life of spring reminds us of our faith, of course. We are children of the resurrection, children of the Spirit, and we see our faith blossoming around us in the seasons and in the cycles of life. The sleep of winter, the decay and death bring life to the next season and hope for the future. In this way, the natural world reflects the world of the gospel - not only the physical world that Jesus walked (although I doubt he experienced a Canadian winter) there is nonetheless a resonance between the gospel and our natural earth. Winter is akin to Lent. Easter is the akin to spring. Resurrection is akin to flowers blooming. The scent of life always reminds me of the smell of infants who are new to the earth. Of course, I think of my son Thomas who still has the “new baby smell” as people say.
And so we are reminded that you cannot have resurrection without the cross in the same way you cannot have spring without winter. In our lives of faith and our personal journey, we likely see this same cycle play out. Despair turns to hope, darkness become light, and death to life over and over again. The promise of eternal life is always held out my friends, like flowers in spring, Jesus bursts forth into our hearts, minds and souls if we allow him in.