We celebrate Easter in the spring since it is tied to the Jewish calendar and the festival of the Passover. Remember that Jesus was in Jerusalem for the Passover celebration when He was arrested and crucified.
This creates an easy association for us of Easter with the new life of spring. Even living in Florida, we can see new life springing up in the flowers, the trees, and, soon enough, the lovebugs. Sometimes we get to thinking that the promise of Easter, the promise of new life, is just what we celebrate each spring, that annual cycle of life.
But then we come to Sunday’s reading from Ezekiel, the prophecy of the valley of the dry bones. (Click here to read it.) The promise of life that God brings to us is not just the “cycle of life,” although that certainly is a gift of God, but it is the promise of life from that which seems hopelessly dead. The cycle of life would not give us any hope that mountains of dry bones would come to life again.
But yet, God brings life to that which has no life, to that which has lost all hope of life. In Sunday’s Gospel lesson, we will read of new life given to the hopelessly dead Lazarus (click here to read it) and on Easter, new life given to Jesus. And that is the promise to us!
In a small way that means that God can bring new life to that which seems dead in your lives. Broken relationships. Lost hope. Shattered dreams. Bitter disappointments. Virus quarantines. The promise is not that these things will be restored as though never damaged or lost, but in the grace of God, all is redeemed, even that which seems hopeless to us. It may not be in the shape we had hoped for, but redemption can come.
But more importantly, we are born to a new life in God: a life not complete until we are in the Kingdom, but a life we can glimpse in small ways in those “God-moments” in our lives, in love, in healing, in recovery, and sometimes even in death. Pray that God will give you the eyes to see His new life breaking into your life!
This column was published in the March 29, 2020 edition of St. John’s eNews. Click here for the complete issue.
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