Little did I know what a 65 degree day in March sitting on my patio could do for me. To be perfectly clear, I am aware that we could have, yet, another blast of winter of which the panhandle of Nebraska just experienced or a week of continuous rain. However, on this 65 degree day, I feel the sun made a promise to me to come back and provide the warm temperatures. The sun shared its rays of warmth. Just from that half hour of sitting outside, I felt like I had been reinvigorated and renewed. That is a lot of hoopla over a half hour in the sun! Yet, it has been a long haul over the winter being trapped inside with the snow, the bitter cold, the rain, and then, of course, the social & physical distancing due to Covid-19. I needed the sun, and I am pretty sure it needed me.
Holy Week. Jesus reminded us that we can be renewed through service to others and by saying a kind word. Unfortunately, his acts of kindness and words of encouragement led him to his death-a brutal death and the act of cowards. Jesus promised that he would return, but there is a finality in death. We all know that, right? Someone probably should have let Jesus in on the secret because on the third day after his crucifixion, Jesus rose from the dead as promised.
Easter. The promise of Jesus rising on the third day has been fulfilled. Every year, we are given the opportunity to find renewal and even to believe in promises again. What a surprise it must have been for those who went to the tomb on the thrid day to find the tomb empty! What a bigger surprise to have Jesus appear in white robe! That is a promise that was fulfilled.
So, why does sitting out in the sun in March looking at the snow on the ground, yet, warmed with the warmth of the sun have to do with Holy Week and Easter? As a good acting coach would say, “What’s your inspiration?” I was inspired because though I looked in the yard and saw the melting snow and dead grass, I experienced the warmth of the sun: the sun that would promise to be back even after a surge of cold and my renewal of joy that from the dead comes life. I saw it today. A beautiful crocus popped out of the dormant grass. It was all the hope I needed.
I love the journey through Lent because I always know there will be an Easter morning. We celebrate by singing “Christ the Lord is Risen Today.” It is my favorite Easter hymn. It is a promise fulfilled just as spring promises to return after a long winter. Our journey is soon to be completed, as promised, but don't stop there. Really, our journey is just beginning!
Becky Jones-Worship and Music Coodinator