Love is come again, like wheat that springeth green.

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Now the green blade riseth from the buried grain,
Wheat that in dark earth many days has lain;
Love lives again, that with the dead has been:
Love is come again, like wheat that springeth green.

In the grave they laid him, love whom hate had slain,
Thinking that never he would wake again,
Laid in the earth like grain that sleeps unseen:
Love is come again, like wheat that springeth green.

When our hearts are wintry, grieving or in pain,
Thy touch can call us back to life again;
Fields of our hearts that dead and bare have been:
Love is come again, like wheat that springeth green.

Recently, while leading a retreat with twelve and thirteen year olds, I asked them to tell about the time they’d felt most alive. Since the focus of our retreat was feeling the full gamut of human emotions, I shared a personal experience of suffering, and how profoundly holy it had been.  Afterward, several of the kids recounted their experiences surrounding the death of a loved one—how close they felt to their families, how mindful they were of the life they still had to live.  With twenty-three tweens present, the room was pin-drop silent.

Afterward, one of the boys observed, “Isn’t it strange that so many of us would tell stories of death as examples of when we felt alive.”

I said, “Yes, it is unexpected, and yet that connection is at the heart of Christianity. Just like that song you all like to sing so much.”

“Now the Green Blade Riseth” is a favorite of the kids, and I think it’s because of the simple, catchy melody and the fact there are no ginormous theological words. I like that too.

The tune captures the bittersweet cycles of life—winter and spring, death and life.  If you don’t know it, here’s a nice recording on Youtube. It also tells a very practical truth about God’s love—it brings us through grief, hurts, and periods of loneliness or isolation—and makes us into someone new.

In seminary, my liturgics professor used to say, “On Good Friday, we don’t pretend Easter isn’t coming. We never forget that.” And in the season of Easter, those of us who have been called back to life by Christ’s touch also never forget the suffering and death that comes before life, the time spent waiting for the seed to sprout. Life and death, the bitter and the sweet, and two sides of the same coin. When we remember that, God’s victory is even more profound.

-Amber Belldene

Is your heart wintry, grieving or in pain? Invite Christ’s touch to call you back to life.

Also, eat bittersweet, or just dark, chocolate. Savor a piece mindfully, and remember a time when you felt alive.


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