The blossoms sit on the trees, bringing the promise of life and beauty in what has seemed for so long seemed asleep and lifeless. The sun and the rain join together bringing the promise of what is to come: warmth and lush greenery. This is the time when we welcome in spring. And this is the season when we welcome Easter. I love this time of year, it’s like we can hear the earth joining our cries of hallelujah on Easter. After death comes life, out of darkness comes light, out of hopelessness comes hope. We see this truth played out in the earth around us as we prepare to hear the holy stories once again.
N.T. Wright reminds us that Easter is always something that plays out in the earth around us, not in some other distant world or in some far-removed heaven. He writes, “Jesus’ resurrection is the beginning of God’s new project not to snatch people away from earth to heaven but to colonize earth with the life of heaven. That, after all, is what the Lord’s Prayer is about.” At Easter we don’t just celebrate our hope for life after death, we celebrate our hope for life now, for new life filled with the hope and love of heaven now. We celebrate our hope for change and transformation. At Easter we are surprised by hope, surprised by God’s insistence that nothing, not even death itself, can quash our hope for newness and for tastes of heaven here and now. Every time we pray “thy kingdom come on earth as it is in Heaven” we voice that Easter hope for touching heaven and changing earth.
Where do you need some hope? What feels like a tomb in your life, like a tree in winter seemingly lifeless and asleep? We lift those places up to God with prayers that remember God’s faithfulness. And where do you see hope? Where do you see signs of God’s newness, signs of love, signs of heaven here and now? We hold those places in our heart as we prepare for Holy Week, for the cross and the empty tomb.