For behold, the winter is past; the rain is over and gone. The flowers appear on the earth, the time of singing has come, and the voice of the turtledove is heard in our land.

Song of Solomon 2:11-12

What a wondrous time is spring! The winter doldrums start to melt as the sun begins to shine, and sleeping life awakens to new birth. How great is our God, who sends us signs in nature to remind us that we are a Resurrection People — that there are seasons of darkness, death, decay, but always the promise of seeds, blossoms and new life after. To everything there is a season, a time for every purpose under heaven, and we can see how God moves in the cycles of the year.

God’s Word in Jesus Christ promises eternal life, that the afflictions of this world are temporary, that we have an eternal home in the heavens. The joy we feel at springtime, as birds start to sing, as days grow longer, as green shoots appear, echo the hope we feel, the assurance we have in Jesus. In physical and spiritual ways, the time of rebirth surrounds us and lifts us up.

Here in Carlisle-Kilbride we will be busy like the nesting birds and the animals awakening from winter’s sleep. We have Holy Week, Good Friday and Resurrection Sunday to plan for, a Festival on the way, Migrant Worker suppers to arrange. We are springing into action, energized by the Holy Spirit, awakening to the way of Christ in our lives.

This spring, as you feel the warmth of the sun, as the birdsong lifts up your hearts, as the shadows of winter dim, remember that all of this life is a gift from God. That the winter has a purpose, letting living things sleep and rest before new growth. The periods of our lives that feel like setbacks, problems and crises can be opportunities to draw closer to God, a time for seeds to be planted before the bloom and blossom. Whatever darkness you experience, whatever worry you feel, can be brought to the cross on Good Friday.

Jesus knows what that feels like.

But once you leave it there, know that it dies and new life follows in the Resurrection. That Jesus intends to lift you up into glory, refreshed by Living Water, fed by the Bread of Heaven, refined by the Light of the World. The darkness has not and cannot overcome that light. It always returns, no matter how dark the world gets. Turn your face towards it and be sure you can grow into the life that is promised in Jesus. The life that comes to dwell with us.

Spring has sprung, the time of singing has come, Hallelujah!