Morning breaks. Blackbird sings. The grass is damp. The garden is wet. Dew moistens everything as the sun rises on early April mornings, announcing, finally, “spring is here.”
The warm April sun on our backs; the soft, dark smell of soil turned over; warm, fresh rain on pavement; worms, mice, ants, tulips, daffodils; after winter’s gray days, deep snow and cold, bitter wind, all these heralds of spring enter our lives with redemptive purpose. All these heralds of spring invite us to make a change—to exchange our tired, rusty, frost-nipped winter lives for rejuvenated, reborn, green-tipped spring lives. All these heralds of spring invite us to break through the thawing earth and exchange our entombed lives, our closed in lives, our constrained lives for daylight lives, for free, unencumbered, passionate, inspired lives. All these heralds of spring enter our lives with redemptive purpose.
But let’s pause for a moment as the Easter story lingers,as the Easter story still echoes through the season, still haunts the dark corners where the sun has yet to shine, even as it rides the sun’s rays into the breaking dawn, and mingles with seeds still yet to be planted, even as it points us toward the first harvest.
This death and resurrection story is also one of redemption, though skeptics naturally question: how can the sacrifice of another human—a god to some—redeem my life? Surely no blood needed/needs shedding on my behalf.
But let us not forget: the Romans and all the crowds and even the disciples executed an innocent all those years ago. There was no crime. None. Yet violence was done, and it was written down. If nothing else we were meant to see this violence, so that we can see it now, in our own time, in all its forms, and know it is wrong. And isn’t such knowing redemptive too?
If nothing else we were meant to see it. We were meant to see Pilate washing his hands, the crowds jeering, the disciples fading into anonymity—we were meant to see it, so that we can see it again in our own time, in all its forms, and resolve to bear witness against it. Isn’t such witness redemptive too?
If nothing else we were meant to see it. We were meant to see the cruelty, the impunity, the arbitrariness, the corrupt and corrupting powers, the icy cold veins, the easy disregard for human life, the failure of spring to move in hardened human hearts—we were meant to see it, so that we can see it again in our own time, in all its forms, and resolve to challenge it, confront it, subvert it, overcome it and offer in its place more loving, more caring, more just, more peaceful ways of being. For surely the work of building beloved community is redemptive too.
So let us praise this re-created day. Let us praise every morning. Let us welcome every opportunity to offer love in the place of hatred and violence. And let us welcome all those spring-time miracles that redeem our lives.