The winter is past; the rains are over and gone. Flowers appear on the earth; the season of singing has come… Song of Songs 2:11, 12
As an early childhood teacher, I looked forward to spring and introducing this season of new beginnings: bulbs emerging with bursts of color; trees displaying their glorious ensembles of multi-shaded green; and rainbows of flowers where we had seen months of gray. And in the fields and woods animals were introducing their newborn. Birds’ nests burst with tiny heads peeping over carefully constructed shelters. Spring.
And, of course, with spring we have the anticipation of Lent—that solemn time of introspection and penitence. It’s a time when we wait quietly allowing the Holy Spirit to search us and point out ways and opportunities to grow in our faith and love of our Lord. It’s a time to recognize where we’ve not yet responded to God’s call in our lives for repentance and for him to affect transformation in our most profound selves. Lent can be a season for renewal and restoration.
So, here we are at the springtime of our year, and we are confronted instead with death rather than life. The Virus has ushered in a solemnity that rarely occurs during Lent, but here it is. We couldn’t prepare for it, but it’s here. And yet, in our Pilgrim’s Progress, we’ve already met with numbers of difficulties on the way—and have found in retrospect that the lions have been chained while all the resources we’ve needed have been provided. Isn’t it still true now?
It’s Spring, and, yes, there’s an unseen enemy all about us, but hasn’t that always been? We have a different name for this one, but our strategy is not new. We exercise wisdom and prudence, heeding trusted authorities; our meals can provide proper nutrition; we engage daily with God’s creation and its healing powers; we set our minds on things above; and we love our family and neighbors in word and deed; and we continue to rely on our Lord and his Word. We remain thankful, rejoicing always in him. Even in lockdown, we remember he is with us. We have everything we need.
Yes, the cross and death are everyday realities. But so is Easter, and Jesus will triumph.
Don’t worry. Aslan is on the move…
Father, in truth, our world is always full of contradictions: life and death; truth and lies; hope and despair. But you always triumph. Your sovereignty humbles us to rejoice in you and to live in praise and worship. Thank you for ultimate victory in Jesus Christ our Lord. AMEN.