Spring is resurrection time. Trees and bushes and fields that seemed dead have come alive.
For winter’s rains and ruins are over,
And all the season of snows and sins;
The days dividing lover and lover,
The light that loses, the night that wins;
And time remembered is grief forgotten,
And frosts are slain and flowers begotten,
And in green underwood and cover
Blossom by blossom the spring begins.
(Algernon Charles Swinburne, Atalanta in Calydon, 1865, st. 4)
Wildflowers will soon peek through the warming humus in a race to flower before the forest canopy closes out the warming sun. First, the bloodroot will open its white petals. Then clusters of spring beauties and hepaticas will fringe the forest pathways. Shortly, a carpet of dog-toothed violets will unveil their shy saffron flowers below the maples. The woodlands rise from their wintry rest to don a coat of many colours.
How fitting that we celebrate Easter at this season. On Friday of Passover Christ died upon the cross. With his body sealed in a guarded tomb, the enemies of Christ thought they had triumphed. His disciples retreated behind closed doors to nurse their despair. Satan chortled with glee.
Then on the first day of the week, he arose from death. The women who had witnessed his death and burial came to the tomb to anoint his body with spices where they found the stone rolled away. “Suddenly two men in clothes that gleamed like lightning stood beside them. . . ‘Why do you look for the living among the dead? He is not here; he has risen.”( Luke 24:1-6)
Up from the grave He arose,
With a mighty triumph o’er His foes;
He arose a Victor from the dark domain,
And He lives forever with His saints to reign,
He arose! He arose! Hallelujah! Christ arose!
( Christ Arose, text and music, Robert Lowry )
Overnight his frightened and despairing disciples became fearless preachers of the gospel. On the day of Pentecost, Peter proclaimed, “Men of Israel, listen to this: Jesus of Nazareth was a man accredited by God to you by miracles, wonders and signs . . . you with the help of wicked men, put him to death by nailing him to the cross. But God raised him from the dead, freeing him from the agony of death, because it was impossible for death to keep its hold on him.”( Acts 2:22-24)
How appropriate that we celebrate Easter in the spring although its effect stretches throughout the year!