Tuesday, March 31, 2015

April Newsletter

Now the green blade rises from the buried grain,
Wheat that in dark earth many days has lain,
Love lives again, that with the dead has been:
Love is come again like wheat arising green.
(VU #186 Now the Green Blade Rises verse 1)

This past weekend I was out looking at our front flower beds and found bits of greenery poking through the dirt and leaves. Granted most of it was dandelions and grass that had to be pulled out but still....

Spring has sprung!

Spring brings with it the promise of new life, often very welcome after the cold and snow of winter. I know that theoretically we are supposed to look for signs of new life all the time as an act of faith (and indeed there are often signs of new life 12 months a year) spring is the time when we do it most naturally.

Where are you finding signs of life this year? Are those signs of life surprising you?

With spring comes Easter. Easter is all about surprising life, life that bursts forth where we only expect to find death.
In the grave they laid him, love by hatred slain,
thinking that he would never rise again,
laid in the earth like grain that sleeps unseen;
love is come again like wheat arising green.
Forth he came at Easter, like the risen grain,
he that for three days in the grave had lain,
raised from the dead, my living Lord is seen;
love is come again like spring arising green.
(VU #186 Now the Green Blade Rises verses 2 & 3)

Nobody going to a grave expects to find it open (unless there are grave-robbers in town). Many people in the depths of grief wish their loved one was still alive but don't expect to be told that they are. Easter defies our expectations. Sort of like the greenery I saw on the weekend.

Just days before there had been fresh snow on that flower bed. I suspect there is still frost in the ground under the first few inches of mud. And yet life pushes its way through.

Resurrection is not bringing the old back to life. Resurrection is new life. So it is a bit different than my dormant dandelions. But it is similar in that it shows that life wins. No matter what happens life wins. God is rather stubborn that way.

This Easter finds us with “bad” economic news on almost a daily basis – some of which touches us or people we know very directly. This Easter comes just after the Parliament has approved an expanded role for our military in the Middle East. This Easter, as with every Easter, comes at a time when families are mourning loved ones recently gone, or dealing with bad medical news, or any number of other negatives. If we want we can find signs of death and destruction all over the place. We can let that be very depressing. Or we can turn from the darkness of the tomb and look for new life.
When our hearts are wintry, grieving or in pain,
your touch can call us back to life again,
fields of our hearts that dead and bare have been;
love is come again like wheat arising green.
(VU #186 Now the Green Blade Rises verse 4)

This Easter, where will you find new life? What will make your heart burst into songs of joy?

May God be with us, opening our eyes to the reality of resurrection.
Christ is Risen! Christ is Risen Indeed!


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