When anyone is in Christ, that person is a new creation. The old has passed away. Everything has become new.
II Corinthians 5:17
One of the recurring themes of my life is that things seem to sneak up on me. Birthdays and anniversaries always arrive sooner than I expect them to. Events, meetings and reporting deadlines all seem to fly into my life without so much as a warning blip on my radar screen. It is not a calendar problem or a schedule problem. My planner is always up to date and I review it compulsively. But somehow, sometimes overnight it seems, events that were months away are suddenly piled up right in front of me.
This year, however, I find myself waiting impatiently for Easter. Let’s be honest, for me this year it’s more about spring than Easter. I want winter to be over. Technically, winter ended last weekend. But as I write this (Monday morning, March 23), the ground is still frozen and there are huge piles of snow.
I want flowers and sunshine and warm breezes. I want to see buds on the trees. I want daffodils. Aesthetically, it is wonderful to have the approach of Easter and the spring-time renewal of the earth running parallel to one another. But I need to remind myself that our celebration as Christians is quite different from the universal enjoyment of spring flowers and new leaves on the trees.
Heaven knows, it looks like a Good Friday world. And that appearance is never more evident than in the bleak days of late winter. The bare trees and the brown fields are appropriate reminders of a world in which there is often too much suffering and too little comfort. We know that personally, and we know that globally. From the strife in the Middle East to the soup kitchens around our state, the evidence of Good Friday is all around us.
We can tell ourselves that in a few weeks we will feel better. It will be less depressing when there are flowers and leaves and warm sunshine. But Easter is not about forgetting the world or feeling happier. It happens (impossibly and unbelievably) at the very center of our Good Friday world. Love overcomes hatred, reconciliation overcomes alienation, liberation overcomes oppression, joy overcomes pain, and life overcomes death-- even in the deepest winter of our souls.
I hope Easter will be an amazing gift for you this year. I hope it will stop you short and take your breath away. I know I need that, and I suspect that you do, too.
Easter is more than daffodils.
But if we only had the daffodils; it would be enough.