18 February 2019
Spring flowers shout that life is not dead.!
"Surely it's mid winter" I thought, but in the freezing weather two weeks ago I looked out the window and saw a tree covered in blossom. Regardless of all those around it with bare branches, and even the evergreens looking miserable in the frost, it announced spring. "Miles too early" I thought. A few days later as we hunted for matches to light candles in the storm, [the prudently kept torches according to the telecom book, went out after 20 minutes] I gave a thought for the blossom tree with the wind whipping round it and the big tree in the corner losing its branches.
I guess that 's the risk, putting one's hope out there, saying that things are changing, the new season is coming, long before the world is ready for it. All that happens is a big wind comes along and blows it all away. It's not possible, its winter after all, and in winter you are foolish to wear blossoms.
Well, a few days later I looked for the tree expecting no flowers to be seen but it's now smothered in white blossom. Buds that were tightly furled are now blooming. The roof of the house next to the tree is covered in white petals from the storm, but the buds still keep coming, proclaiming spring and new life.
Itís a magnolia of course, flowering its heart out, through frost and storm, a beautiful herald of the warmth and colour to come. Then I look around and realise, the scent of spring flowers fills the side path by the gate to the cemetery, lambs and calves are in paddocks not far from the City centre and one can see why Easter in the Northern hemisphere is a spring festival. Resurrection is shown in the bare branches leaping into life and the spring flowers blooming while snow is still on the ground.
We don't have those extremes but look around you and see where the buds are filling and the new growth starting. [and the lawns growing]
We are reminded not to lose hope, things that seem hopeless can spring to life and endings can become fragrant new beginnings.
God's love warms us into life, new and vibrant life. I wonder if we simply do not see what is happening, already growing in our midst, what we take for granted. There are the unseen seeds being transformed in the earth, so the plant can search for light to live by and fragile flowers still blooming after a devastating storm.
When John the Baptist was languishing in Herod's prison he was worried about whether he'd got it all wrong and if Jesus was in fact the Messiah he had been looking for, so he sent his messengers to ask Jesus "Are you the one to come, or are we to wait for another?" . Jesus replied, it was a quote from the Prophet Isaiah's foretelling about the Messiah.
"Go and tell John what you hear and see: the blind receive their sight, the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed, the dead are raised and the poor have the good news brought to them."
Look around, what do you see in our community? Children learning, people having sight restored, limbs being renewed so people can walk again without pain. Yes! modern medicine does it, but don't we take so much for granted. Look! People are finding comfort in their grieving, support in their disappointments, new perspective on challenges that face them and generosity of hospitality.
May God take all that is bitter, dead and stale in our lives and bring new hope and fill us with God's own love.that overcomes fear and anxiety.and reaches out to touch the world as gently and clearly as a tree in blossom in the storm.
Rev. Margaret Anne Low
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