Pastor’s Ponderings

May is shaping up to be a pretty busy month.  We’ve got Mother’s Day, Ascension Sunday, Pentecost, Memorial Sunday.  Those are just the special Sundays; we also have, National Day of Prayer and Memorial Day.  Some of you will celebrate Nurses Day, Armed Forces Day, Cinco de Mayo and even Shavuot.

Many of our teens will be gearing up for the end of the school year.  Those who are seniors will be attending a Baccalaureate service and graduating this month. Our teens will be searching for summer jobs and making summer plans.  The younger children will be spending more time outside and leaving their jackets at home!  And Dad’s everywhere will shout “let the grilling begin!”  I can smell the barbecues already!

The weather is getting warm and nice and so picnic season and backyard bonfire season will begin.  Many of us will be planting flowers in our yards and getting our gardens started.  We will get together with family on Mother’s Day and again on Memorial Day and depending upon our fickle Michigan weather, we may even get to go swimming before the month is over.

May is a month of flowers and sunshine and warmth.  Birds are busy nesting, squirrels are chasing each other in their mating dance and everywhere children are running and playing and squealing.  This month windows are opened, furnaces are turned off; outdoor sounds change from snow-blowers to lawn mowers and the gentle flapping sounds of freshly laundered clothes hanging on clotheslines.  Our neighbors come out of their homes to wave at and visit with one another.  Sights and sounds change from bleak to warm and colorful.

I love this time of year.  Everything feels fresh and new and friendly.  Everyone seems to be grateful to have made it through another harsh Michigan winter.  It feels like a rebirth and for me the timing is perfect.  We have just remembered the most horrendous week of Christian history.  We have relived the pain and betrayal and death of someone who throughout His whole short life – only loved. He lived to love.  And the world crucified Him.  WE crucified Him.  But we are children of a loving Father and so even that cold harsh reality was not the end. Like a cold Michigan winter, May is coming.  EASTER came to us!  We are able to come out of the cold emptiness of a death we deserve and instead enjoy the warm sunshine of life because He loves!

Thinking about that, makes it seem to me that we have put Mother’s Day and Memorial Day in a good month.  They come after Easter; they come with the warmth of the weather, the singing of the birds and the budding of flowers.  We “remember” those who have provided us, through their sacrifices, the Freedoms we take for granted.  We remember the Mothers in our lives who have loved us and nurtured us simply because we are theirs.  Our Father has done those things for us too.  He has sacrificed His Son who knew no sin, a son of whom he was “well pleased”.  He has covered us in the protection and cleansing of His grace simply because we are His and He loves us.  We come out of the cold harshness of what our sinfulness has earned us, to live instead in the warmth and the light of His love.

It is springtime in Michigan!  It is springtime in our lives!  Praise God for the spring!

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