Easter is coming…but not right now

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Easter is coming.

Not that much of the eastern United States would quite believe that now, between the snow and record cold. Easter is a spring event, with flowering crosses and greenery.  But the truth remains, spring always follows winter. The seeds resting under the dirt and ice and snow, the buds invisible to our eyes, the streams of sunlight that claim a bit more of the day – yes, spring is coming.

But not right now.

That’s the way the world works. We ease from the darkness and chill of winter into the life of spring by inches, maybe even minuscule movements foreword imperceptible to our eyes. But we do move. Right now, we have almost an hour more daylight than we did during Advent. And by Holy Week, we will have even more daylight. The barren ground will thaw. Plants with begin to grow. Life is going to live in a new way.

Easter is coming, but not right now.

We are just beginning Lent, the holy season of preparation. We are preparing our soil for the life that is growing. We are preparing our lives for the Resurrected Jesus. We are preparing our communities for the gift of the Resurrection. But preparation is hard, often inconvenient work.  Why not just skip Lent, ignore it, act like it’s something from an ancient church that we don’t need now?

But we do need Lent. We need to prepare. We need gradually to move from the stasis of winter to the vigorous new life of spring. We need time to reflect and to sit with our selves and souls, exploring what needs to grow and what might need to be transformed by God. Much like trying to run a marathon without ever running around the block, Lent offers us a way to exercise and stretch our selves and souls in small and great ways. And the Church, in her wisdom, encourages (strongly) that we do this as a community. Because Lent is a communal experience, as is Easter.

Easter is coming, but not right now.

So take this time to prepare. Embrace the days of Lent as darkness begins to slide away. Revel in the charge of the church to spend time in repentance and in reading and meditating on God’s Holy Word. Indulge your soul in nourishing it in prayer and worship, both alone and with community. And get ready…

Because Easter is coming, but not right now.

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