My confidence in the arrival of Spring wanes in years of bitter winter nights and sluggish March days. Yet, even when I doubt, God’s provision for Spring is already on its way. Today, I see slivers of hope. Leaves are thinking about pushing their way into our Minnesota landscape. Driving down my street, I spotted a lone magnolia tree sporting some blooms. Our lives follow a similar pattern. There are winter times, when life is hard. We go through days of struggling and working through our current trial. We wonder when the pain will end. We wonder if it ever will.
The day Jesus was crucified, his friends and family were devastated. All the events which transpired were outside of the control of his followers. Jesus on a cross brought little hope for any kind of a future, yet the record of history and God’s actions in the city of Jerusalem, tell us of a different reality. There is no keeping Jesus in the grave. Two thousand years bear record to that great truth. Easter is God’s message telling us not to lose hope. God is working in our lives, even though it may not look like it at the moment.
Our hearts may break. We may despair. The power of Easter is that because Christ lives, we can live also. We can face tomorrow. We can do so without fear. This Easter you may be troubled of spirit and soul. There may be difficulties and trials. The bitter taste of rejection and injustice may linger. Your heart may be buried in grief. I have no easy answers. But, while much of God remains a mystery to us, of one thing I am sure. God is a God of resurrection power. Witnesses continue to proclaim this truth. In God’s providence, Easter will follow Good Friday. Life stirs into being after death. Spring inevitably arrives in spite of winter’s hold. New life is God’s gift to each of us.
Charles Wesley’s Easter Hymn “Christ the Lord is Risen Today” includes this verse:
“Love’s redeeming work is done, Alleluia!
Fought the fight, the battle won, Alleluia!
Death in vain forbids His rise, Alleluia!
Christ hath opened paradise, Alleluia!”
May this Easter bring you hope. Where life has been hard, may you see glimmers of God is working in your life. Where there has been the loss of one held dear, may you find hope in the mystery of Easter and God’s love for you and your lost loved ones. May you be reassured that God holds tomorrow and is working, even now, to make all things new.