I don’t know about you, but I’m really ready for spring. Spring in Alabama is a gorgeous season (except for the pollen!) as the trees turn light shades of green, tulips and other bulbs blossom, and the azaleas will soon sprout their colors. But that is hard to imagine on a day like today when it will be 20 degrees tonight. Winter is in full force. Last Sunday I noticed the trees on Emerald Mountain Parkway had tried to push some early blooms out, only to be frozen over a few days later.
But it isn’t just warmer temps and the colors of spring I look forward to. We’re on a journey towards Easter, celebrating the resurrection of Jesus from the dead and our salvation. Just like Easter can be hard to imagine in the dead of winter, experiencing the resurrection in life can seem so far away in the midst of dark and difficult days. Life can feel dreary and frozen over at times. But through Jesus, new life is possible.
Early Christian traditions built into their calendar some intentional practices to prepare us for celebrating Easter. It is called Lent and begins 6 weeks before Easter. It consist of a season of practices like scripture reading, prayer, and fasting to ready our hearts to receive the good news of the resurrection of Jesus again. Many of us that grew up in Protestant traditions might not have ever experienced the Lenten season before. Regardless of your background, there are some wonderful practices that can align our hearts for Easter. If you’d like to follow along with some Bible readings through this season, here is a helpful resource.
As a church we’re going to be discussing the next six weeks how the resurrection of Jesus affects our lives now, not just our ultimate salvation. How do we encounter each day because the resurrection is true? What kind of hope does it provide us? How does it empower us to live boldly in a world of brokenness? The resurrection is the heart of the gospel and it radically impacted the disciples and the early church. I pray it will have a massive impact on us as well.