There is something about this time of year that makes everything seem possible.
Last August the garden beds in our backyard were overrun with weeds and our hostas were dried out and weary looking. But this past weekend as we raked away the leaves, I noticed bursts of green popping out of the dirt. At least for a little while, the beautiful yard that I aspire to is entirely possible.
Baseball fans know the joy of these early weeks of a new season. Even those of us who spend lifetimes cheering on perpetually losing teams (I won’t name names) are hopeful. We think, maybe this is our year. The bullpen looks strong. There are some powerful young batters in the line-up. A winning season is possible.
And it’s Easter. At least for the church, Easter is more than just one single day. We’ll celebrate the resurrection of Jesus for the next 50 days. This, too, keeps us hopeful. This Easter season reminds us that so much more is possible than we first believed.
For far too long I’ve been praying for a friend I feared was lost to a serious addiction. We hadn’t heard from him for months. But this Easter weekend a note came through my email full of the good news that he’s been sober 35 days and doing well in rehab. It was a burst of green in barren soil. A walk off grand slam against an unbeatable team. A new beginning where there only seemed to be a dead end.
Perhaps this season of Easter might keep us on the lookout for the ways that life is being made new. We can clear away our despair and disillusionment to make room for hope and expectation.
Our hearts, after all, might need the same sort of raking and clearing out that my flower beds do. So often, we give up on the people around us, believing them to be lost causes. We get stuck in patterns in our relationships, doubting that things could ever be better. We see in ourselves only the losing statistics for previous seasons and refuse to believe that we could ever be different.
But – like those hopeful baseball fans – this might just be your year. This Easter season is about believing that life comes from death; that God can bring beauty out of desolation and goodness from the bleakest of places. We can remember these days that resurrection is not just for the dead, but for all of us. New life is entirely possible.
Sara Olson-Smith, associate pastor