What a pleasant climate we live in, in this part of this wonderful world. Just put out of your minds the rather extreme weather conditions around Christmastime, and be thankful for more normal conditions now. We can’t get away from the fact, though, that many parts of the world have in recent months suffered tremendous extremes of weather; from tsunami to drought, severe flooding to bush fires out of control…and now, more recently, the devastation and loss of life brought about by the earth tremor in the city of Christchurch, New Zealand.
Yet we British spend more time complaining about our much more predictable weather conditions than on any other topic of conversation. Too cold, too warm, too wet, too dry. I’m tempted to say we are never satisfied.
The first full week of March, the first week of Spring if you split the year into three-monthly seasons, although of course according to our calendar the first day of Spring isn’t until the 21st March. But we have the lighter nights and the longer days! The Spring bulbs are brightening our gardens, and roadsides in some places. Crops are already growing in our fields – promise of a harvest to come later this year. Hedgerows are bursting into life, buds are appearing on the trees, and the lawn almost needs cutting! Lambs everywhere full of the joys of Spring, and ‘This joyful Eastertide’ is just round the corner in our church lives.
But that can’t be celebrated yet until we have lived again through this period of Lent (we have Shrove Tuesday and Ash Wednesday this week) and followed our Lord through his passion and on to Calvary. So many special Sundays at this time of year. Mothering, Passion, Palm, Easter. To come to the joyous Easter Day we need first to go through the dark days of Christ’s Passion – the bitterness, the hatred, the rejection. Only then can we truly accept and appreciate the Risen Christ and the promise of life beyond the grave. Eternal life.
So enjoy, as they say – through the Passion of Christ to the fresh New Life of Springtime!