Greeting Grace Family,
Spring has finally arrived! A little later than usual this year after what seemed like a very long and frigid winter, Southern California frigid that is. The flowers in my garden at home are blooming and as I survey the land as I move about I notice everything is green and colorful, obvious signs of growth that signal it’s spring. It is a time of renewal and growth after the darkness and chill of winter.
I imagine that mirrors the emotions that the followers of Jesus felt during His time with them post resurrection. Easter continues long after we celebrate Jesus’ resurrection day and our lectionary provides us with stories from the Gospels about the things our resurrected Lord did prior to His ascension. I’ve always been fascinated by those stories from a human point of view and how mind blowing it must have been for those who actually saw Jesus and what it meant to them.
I’m sure everyone knew that Jesus had been crucified as I imagine word spread pretty quickly among the people of that day considering His fame. That must have been unbelievable for those who believed He was the Messiah. I would guess that the news of His death brought an all consuming sense of darkness and a chill that struck them to the bone. A dark winter of emotions, if you will. It must have felt like a hopelessness that would never end.
Then, Jesus appears to the women at the tomb, and then shows up on the road to Emmaus, then pops in on the Disciples in a locked room. Surprising? More like shocking! But, in a good way, a very good way. Imagine the absolute and immediate sense of jubilation that would have filled their hearts. Once those feelings of pure emotions subsided the question, “What does this mean?” had to pop into their minds. The answer to that question remains open ended to this day 2000 years after Jesus resurrection.
One reason it remains open ended is because like pretty much everything God does in our world is far beyond our full comprehension. Another reason for that is that in some ways it’s different for each of us and there’s really no limit to what it can mean to us. I spoke about this in a recent sermon about Holy Communion. The bread and wine represent the entirety of the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus. The power in that is unlimited and goes so far beyond just a reminder of the forgiveness of our sin. If you want to hear more go to our YouTube channel and listen to the sermon from April 23 if you weren’t in worship that day or watching the livestream.
How is this related to spring? I’m glad you asked. The life, death and resurrection of Jesus is for us an endless source of renewal and growth, which is how I understand spring. We will all experience dark periods, periods of uncertainty, during our lives but will always have Jesus’ resurrection to remind us that we always have hope in this life and in the life to come. Happy Easter!
Yours in Christ,