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Sunday, February 16, 2020

Spring has sprung

                        In the fall of 1963 Edward Pola and George Wyle co-wrote one of our most beloved contemporary songs of the season. Their song, sung by Andy Williams, stated that the Christmas season was “The Most Wonderful Time of the Year”.  While I certainly do enjoy many aspects of that time of year, especially the remembrance of our Lord’s humble birth, my vote for the most wonderful time of the year, hands down, would have to go to springtime.

   It seems as I get more “mature”, the difficulties of a cold, long winter get to be way more than just an inconvenience. So, by March, I am ready to take the first flight out to a more tropical place. Those warm days of early spring, that are a welcome tease of things to come, are an extreme boost to my energy level and, it would seem, to my disposition.

   Spring is a time of renewal and rebirth. A time when all of nature comes alive again after a long period of dormant rest. It’s a time when just taking the dog outside doesn’t require a half hour of dressing to avoid hypothermia and frostbite. The springtime brings a medicinal warm sunshine, the birds have a new sweet song and the rushing rivers do seem to clap their hands.

   Spring is also a time of anticipation and hope. As the weather becomes less impactful on travel and there is no longer threats of blizzards and dangerous wind chill, people start to move about and begin planning the upcoming activities, hoping for new and exciting summer adventures.

   I think it would be fantastic if, on March 21, we could somehow slow down time. If we could put the brakes on and decelerate the passage of days and weeks enabling us to squeeze every bit of enjoyment out of each day before the cold rolls around again.

   Oh well. Let’s get back to reality.  

   So, we really need to and can set our minds on making the most of each and every day regardless of the length of it, which we have not the power to alter. We need to take the time to notice and appreciate the profound magnificence of God’s creation, especially in the days of spring when that majesty is jumping off the page.

   We are told to “Be still, and know that I am God” (Psalm 46:10).   He is the God of creation and all the beauty of the earth is ours to enjoy and acknowledge that it is His powerful hands that make it happen.          

   Leonardo Di Vinci didn’t paint the Mona Lisa for it to be put in a closet and not enjoyed. Beethoven didn’t write powerful symphonies to be drowned out by the echoes of car horns and people shouting. Likewise, God didn’t create all things, from the beautiful Monarch Butterfly to the majestic Grand Canyon and everything in between, for us to be too busy and to preoccupied to notice, to admire, and to give Him our heartfelt praise. We just need to be still and know that He is God and to make the time to stop and smell the apple blossoms. Putting the brakes on to slow down the passage of time is not in the realm of possibilities but making the most of each day and enjoying God’s gifts is possible.

  My mind can wander at this time of year and wonder if the glory of springtime, the renewal and rebirth of nature is a glimpse, a small preview, of what is to come when God returns the earth to the condition of the garden of Eden. Perhaps the fresh clean smells, warm breezes, and the symphony of sounds that springtime brings for us to enjoy now will last, even more beautifully, not for just a season, but for all eternity.  

   And because of the feelings of anticipation and hope that the springtime brings, it is only proper that it is the time of year when our thoughts turn to remember our Savior’s death, His resurrection, and the promise of a new day and a new life through Him.   

   Our plans for the days and months beyond springtime are excitingly special but pale sorely in comparison to the anticipation and hope of our risen savior coming again to usher in the glorious kingdom of God.

   So, that’s my story and I’m sticking to it. Springtime IS the most wonderful time of the year.

   The title of this writing is a portion of a poem that my father taught me many years ago:

                Spring has sprung, the grass is rise.

                I wonder where the flowers is?

   Be patient and the flowers will come. Be patient and a new day will come. God has promised it and His word is faithful and true.

There’s coming a new day, a bright golden morning,

Fresh as a mountain stream, warm as the sun,

when all of creation will shout “Hallelujah – the dawn of God’s kingdom has now begun”

   For behold, the winter is past; the rain is over and gone. The flowers appear on the earth, the time of singing has come, and the voice of the turtledove is heard in our land. (Song of Solomon 2:11-12 ESV).

   Here in our land, Maine, we await the voice of the peepers more than the turtledoves. The awakening frogs from the bogs and ponds that are heard as the daylight fades in the evenings are a welcome reminder that spring has indeed sprung.

Praise God from whom all blessings flow!

                                                                                       Brother Richard


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