I have always enjoyed the cycle of the year, the rhythm of the seasons; one of the things I love about Michigan is that we do have all four seasons - sometimes all in one day! - but I revel in the solid differences of each season. It must be so boring to live somewhere with no changes. Though as I get older it seems the seasons come and go so much more quickly than when I was a child. Christmas used to come so slowly, dawdling along like a young boy who doesn't want to get started on his chores. Now it seems I've hardly washed the Thanksgiving dinner dishes before I fall headlong into Advent, with Christmas suddenly on the doorstep. I look up again, and here comes Easter!
It is late in the evening now and Jupiter and Venus are filling the western sky, and a brilliant full moon made the road a thin silver ribbon as we made our way home from church. Today was Good Friday, and tonight was our Tennebrae Service, a part of the Lenten season of the church year. Based on ancient practices, it is a journey from light into darkness, a sorrowful celebration of our Lord's journey through pain and suffering into death. It is a humbling and soul-striking reminder of how He paid the ultimate price to redeem all of us from death and sin. Tomorrow's service will be the Easter Vigil, still quiet and sorrowful; akin to the disciples quietly cowering behind locked doors, still in shock and disbelief that Jesus was dead. Finally Easter morning will come, with glorious light and joy and song bursting forth like the springtime life we see outside. From the darkness we move forward with joy and thanksgiving, celebrating our Lord risen from the dead! The organ will thunder and the trumpets sound as we sing with gusto "I know that my Redeemer lives!"
Though the unpredictable Michigan weather can just for laughs toss a snowstorm into the middle of April, Easter always seems to be the time when we can say "Spring is here!" and enjoy the tulips, daffodils, and flowering trees as we get ready to plant gardens and chase the winter mustiness out of the house. The sun's warmth is stronger each day, and daylight lingers long after supper. My tomato and pepper seeds I planted last week have begun sprouting, and it's time to put them under the grow lights. The endless rhythm of the seasons has cycled back to Spring and another chance to plant the 'perfect' garden.
A blessed Easter to everyone. He is risen, He is risen indeed!