Written Sunday April 8, 2012:Spring is a time for renewal. After the long, gray dead of winter comes the warm sunny days filled with new birth. We see it in the trees and on the ground. We hear it in the laughter of children reveling in the renewed daylight that opens the floodgates of pent-up energy now released into the beautiful outdoors. We smell it in the fresh breeze colored with the scent of new life: flowers are blooming, trees are brimming with buds... spring is finally here!
Easter is a time for renewal. Our Lord, Jesus Christ, like nature, was in the "summer" of His life when He was cut down and painfully crushed like a dying leaf fallen from a tall hearty oak. Like a dead leaf becoming part of the ground in late fall to enrich the soil for new growth in spring, Jesus was taken to the ground/tomb only to return to give humanity new life. He returned perfect, beautiful, pure and holy. The world celebrates with eggs, baby chicks and bunnies as a symbol of fertility, but that is NOT the image I choose to ponder upon. I think of a newborn baby: pure, innocent, perfect, untouched by the perils of life... the closest to heaven and angels I believe one can get on earth. "Jesus said unto her, touch me not" John 20:17 KJV. This is what Jesus said to the woman at the tomb. He was so pure He couldn't be touched by the sinful "dirty" hands of humans!
I remember our little guy, just days old, in my arms with a smile from ear to ear. In Puerto Rico, where my family is from, it is said that newborns smile because they are remembering their perfect lives in heaven before joining us here on earth. That is the spring of our lives! Like a newly hatched baby bird who will grow into a majestic eagle or a sprouting Redwood that will tower tall and strong, each will grow to serve its purpose... for which God has placed them on this earth.
Easter came early the year 2008. I remember it clearly because it was our little guy's first trip to church after he was born. It was March, way too early for him to be here with us. The little man was supposed to be born in mid April, yet there he was! It was an uneasy Easter Sunday. We'd been unexpectedly rejected by our church family of over 10 years just months before our son was born and we felt completely displaced. I suppose somewhat like the Israelites in the desert. Egypt may not have been ideal, but it was home. No church is ideal, but that church was our home. The pain of our baby's premature birth, my near-death experience thereafter and the loneliness of the rejection of our spiritual leaders was beyond traumatic for me in particular, especially knowing we'd done nothing to deserve it. Pride and spiritual vanity is a horrible thing, especially in church leadership. Yet I knew that not once had Jesus left me. I, too had a "new life" to enjoy watching my newborn son grow up!
It is nearly impossible to experience Holy Week and Easter/Resurrection Sunday without thinking of our own mortality. Knowing that Jesus died for OUR sins makes many Christians almost wish they could trade places. The injustice of it, the needless suffering in our stead, the physical pain that most of us will never experience in our lifetimes... Yet it was HIS sacrifice that opened the doors of eternity to all who believe in Him. This gives us hope for a future beyond the time we are on our pilgrimage here on earth.
It is NOT about the humans who preach, it is about HIM and ONLY Him, the Great I Am, the Prince of Peace and Lord of Lords! EVERYONE WILL FAIL YOU. Even the person you least expect WILL disappoint you. But Jesus will never let you down if you trust in Him.
|Our little guy only a week old and smiling in mommy's arms!|
|Easter Sunday, 2008|
(only a few weeks old and smiling!)