Spring has sprung.
Birds are singing, flowers are blooming, people are leaving their homes without coats, and the pollen index is virtually unbearable for hay fever sufferers.
What a great time of year.
These flowers are exploding all over our back garden.
For those of us who grew up in Southern California, this worship of spring is a new experience. We wore short sleeves to our Christmas celebration, and I have friends at home who have been going to the beach regularly for most of this year. But it’s not just the temperature, it’s the balance of light and darkness. Los Angeles is much farther south than London, and so the length of days doesn’t vary as much there as here. We’re loving these long days—even the cool ones—as we prepare for the summer season.
The difference between winter and summer here makes springtime worth celebrating. That difference reminds us that something new is happening—that a window of time has opened up during which we can enjoy things that we can’t really do during the rest of the year. Ian and I have been playing baseball and kicking a football around. I’m getting off the bus a few stops early to enjoy a walk in the sunshine. Julie and I have been talking about firing up the grill and eating some dinners outside.
What a great time year.
Springtime is also the Easter season for Christians. As I’ve said in the services in April and May, this is a season when we celebrate a truly miraculous part of our Christian faith. There’s no smoothing over the resurrection with modern language and sophisticated reasoning. This is one of those times of year when we have to acknowledge that our faith has its roots in a dramatically supernatural event—He is risen...He is risen indeed!
When we allow the complete other-ness of Easter to wash over us, we’re a little more attuned to God’s call on our lives to be his disciples. I know that’s hard. This is one of those things that just doesn’t make sense to our modern minds, or put a different way, it’s one of those things that we have to know in way that is completely different from the way we know other things. That’s a challenge. But the blessing of it is that when it happens for us our lives as disciples are warmer, brighter and more productive.
And so I’m enjoying this springtime in a way that I never have. I haven’t experienced the stark difference between winter and spring before, and it’s wonderful. I’m looking forward to summer, and also, in a strange way, to starting the whole cycle over again.
Oops. I just heard that there’s some rain coming. That’s OK—all those flowers in the garden needed some watering.