Spring is here. I can no longer deny it. I’ve mowed a couple of times. The Kentucky Derby has been run. There have been a few tornado warnings around the state. These are all reminders to me that it is that time of the year.
Yet, when I sit on the porch with a cup of coffee, other things remind me. The chirping of the birds in the morning air can be overwhelming as each seeks out its mate, longing for new life and new beginnings. For me, Spring is that time, a time of new beginnings.
I’ve always suspicioned that God likes Spring as well. For if nothing else, we know our God is the God of new beginnings. Patient, tolerant, merciful, and kind, our God has offered to his people throughout all generations the opportunity to start again.
Cast from the garden, Adam and his family had the opportunity for new beginnings. Noah and his family after the Flood, were given the chance to start the world all over again. Abraham has a fresh start as he follows God to the new land of promise. Israel leaves Egypt with God in the forefront with a pillar of cloud and of fire. Once again a new beginning. Joshua leads them into the Promised Land, across the Jordan River, a new place to start.
We could talk of the Kings, restart after restart in the nation of Judah. Each of the prophets appeals to the nation, begin again with God. Captivity, then the return… a chance to begin again.
Finally, or perhaps at last, God calls it the fullness of time, Jesus comes to put God in the flesh and the process in motion. From crowds on the hillside, multitudes on the plains, crowded beaches, tiny synagogues, expansive temples, and ending in whispers on a cross, new beginnings are offered, seized, and sometimes ignored. Over and over, time after time, the occasions are presented to start fresh, once again.
As the new grass launches itself into the air, as flowers bud, then burst into bloom, remember the imagery. Catch a glimpse of the message of nature that echoes the voice of God: This is the time for new beginnings. Shrug aside the old, ineffective habits, open yourself to a walk that is in step with our God. Today, even the birds sing the New Song, if you have the ears to hear.