Sunday, April 08, 2007

Happy Easter!

It must be some sort of cultural expectation--what with fancy spring easter dresses & hats--that the weather should be warm and beautiful come Easter morning. That's what I expected today--the sun shinning brightly, birds chirping and daffodils poking up through the ground as we awoke to celebrate our risen Lord. However, here in Colorado, we would have no such weather today--or any day recently.

It's surprising how much the weather can brighten--or in this case, dampen, your mood. Friday it was cold and rainy ("schleppy weather" I like to call it) and that put me in a bad mood. I was supposed to be on duty--outside for 30 minutes before school started. I would have no such part of that nasty mess--I selfishly took inside duty only to leave 2 other teachers out in the rain--I had paid my dues back in December when it was "wicked cold". How could the weather alone force me to make such a poor, selfish decision?

But, here I was, warm & toasty, inside, on this Good Friday. It's only fitting for this day that we celebrate--it is what started the "holiday" to begin with--selfishness. It says in Matthew 27:18 that Jesus knew it was "out of envy" that they [the chief priests and elders] had handed Jesus over to him [Pilate]. Isn't that just selfishness, envying something or someone so much that you do something as drastic as sending them to their death?

The weather did not improve on Friday night or Saturday--which again, seemed fitting for the mood. Saturday would have been "Preparation Day" for the body of Jesus, a sad day for those who knew Jesus. His body would have been prepared with herbs and incense and placed in a tomb. What a sad day for Mary Magdalene, Mary & the other disciples, for they did not understand what was to come. The weather here in Colorado seemed to echo their sadness.

Then this morning as I awoke early and came upstairs, I was truly hoping for that spring weather--warm & rejoicing--calling out to God in celebration for his mighty work of raising Jesus from the dead. But, as you can see from the picture, it is none of that today. It is however, snowy, cold and dismal.

But, then I got to thinking about what today really means for us--it is not only Resurrection Day for Jesus, it is the Day of our Salvation--the celebration of our own death--death to sin & our own resurrection--our new life with Christ! We can live a new life in him because HE died FOR us.

So, how does this relate to the dreary weather? God's love and salvation is like the snow--falling freely from heaven. It comes when least expected & in abundance--no one can count the number of flakes falling from the sky. The snow is white--pure white--almost blinding--brighter than the sun. God's love & salvation & forgiveness are all of those things--pure & overwhelming. The snow that is falling today is covering the grass-well, in our case, brown & dried up, not yet full of life (like most of our neighbors'). The snow is covering our lawn--just like it covers our sin. Jesus died for us & covers our sin--we no longer have to have a relationship with it! We have a new relationship with Jesus.

The most beautiful part of the weather is that God is in control of it--if I were God, I would have requested sunshine, chirping birds & warmth to celebrate my son's resurrection. But, alas, I am not God & do not understand his ways. But, I do know that I will be thankful for this weather today and I will celebrate Jesus' resurrection from the dead & my own resurrection from the dead life I lived before!

"We died to sin, how can we live in it any longer? Or don't you know that all of us who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? We were therefore, buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life! If we have been united with him like this in his death, we will certainly also be united with him in his resurrection...The death he died, he died to sin once for all; but the life he lives, he lives to God." Romans 6:2-5, 10