For many people this year, spring couldn’t come quickly enough. Early on, it seemed like spring would be here early with a February melt, but, as everyone knows, the snow returned.
Warm temperatures, green grass, and blue skies were delayed time and time again, like a flight set to depart O’Hare in a January drizzle. The excitement of the February warm-up wore off, but hope for spring held on.
This story isn’t so different than our Christian hope for the new creation. This past Sunday, we reflected on Revelation 21 and the image portrayed there of the new Jerusalem coming as a “a bride beautifully dressed for her husband” (Rev. 21:2), and a place where we “will see [God’s] face.” (Rev. 22:4).
This was what the apostles hoped for after Jesus’ resurrection from the grave! They experienced the joy and the wonder of Jesus’ resurrection and they heard his promise saying, “I am going there to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you may also be where I am” (John 14:2-3)…but Jesus didn’t come back as soon as they had expected…and we too wait for his return.
In that time, the excitement after Christ’s resurrection can fade. It can seem like he will never come. The late spring snows of our faith-lives attempt to cover the promise of new life and the radiance of the face of the risen Lamb.
But summer is coming! Even in that late spring snow, there are signs of life. There are signs of the new kingdom. Spring is here!
2 Corinthians 1:21-22 says, “Now it is God who makes both us and you stand firm in Christ. He anointed us, set his seal of ownership on us, and put his Spirit in our hearts as a deposit, guaranteeing what is to come.”
The Holy Spirit living and working within us is a gift of that new spring….guaranteeing that a full and glorious summer is coming.
“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.” (Gal. 5:22-23)
These fruits of the Spirit are like the green grass poking through the melting snow….signs that spring is here and the kingdom is alive. God’s Spirit living and active among us as believers in Christ are the signs of spring and our eternal hope.
Pastor Tim Kooiman