For many of us, the Springtime is a sign of hope and new life, even when we are still locked in winter. (Which we are as I write this!)
This year, March covers the period of Lent and lasts right through until on the first day of April, when the joy of Easter breaks upon us. In March I am hopeful that we will see the beginnings of spring, as the days lengthen and the sun becomes warmer and higher in the sky.
God’s love has been compared to the Springtime – ancient and yet ever new. It is such a love that enables signs of spring to emerge, not only in what has been the cold hard soil of winter, but also in cold and fearful hearts, as on that first Easter Day.
One question I have: How can the cold places – the places where winter seems to have reigned for a long time – become green again? In my experience, everyone has known sorrow and has felt sadness in their hearts, and in this common experience there sometimes seems to be no obvious way to emerge, like the spring flowers and push green shoots into a world which has been harsh. Nevertheless I do see those green shoots in others, and, yes, even flowers blossoming. In the garden we see crocuses, bluebells, daffodils and snowdrops risking being touched again by frost. If they refused to come out for fear of the cold, these flowers would cease to brighten up our Springtimes.
Even in a world where there can be frosts and unlit shadows, it can be possible to take courage in our lives and, despite our hesitations, turn our faces once more to the warm light of God’s love, asking that we might blossom again.
May our church be a warmed and lit by the risen Christ. May we be a people who value, as signs of God’s “Springtime of hope”, the green shoots and fragile flowers revealed in our lives.