Thursday, 15 April 2021

The promise of spring

Spring 2021 seemed full of promise. As lockdown restrictions eased in England, bulbs and blossom brought joy and spoke of new life. On Easter Sunday, the sun shone while churches gathered for worship. Hymns were sung at outdoor services. The vaccination programme not only met but exceeded its targets. In Shakespeare's words, the winter of our discontent seemed set to give way to glorious summer.

By the end of Easter week everything had changed. An unseasonal cold snap, the death of Prince Philip, and concerns over vaccine safety brought a creeping sense that this spring might not deliver all it had appeared to promise. It seems it will be some time before the shape of the new normal emerges and becomes a reality in daily life.

Jesus' disciples experienced something similar at the first Easter. The events of Easter Sunday promised new life. Encounters with the resurrected Christ restored faith and rekindled hope. And yet, despite the sense that everything had changed, ongoing uncertainty characterised the daily lives of those who had been closest to Jesus. The days and weeks following the resurrection proved to be a period of transition and preparation for what was to come next.

At Easter, and each spring, we celebrate new life. This year, like the early disciples, we find ourselves making our way through a period of transition as we prepare for what lies ahead. In 2021, the promise of spring may take some time to become a reality. We wait in hope.

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