When Winter Seems to Never End

We are still hemmed in by piles of snow, but here we are planning our weekly Lenten lunches for the community, talking about how to make Easter real for hungry souls. And we can feed them sandwiches, fill up bowls of hot soup in cupped hands, re-tell the stories of our Savior’s Passion, but Easter’s new life seems very far away to a world gripped in Winter still.

And you don’t need to look far to see the bruised and the weary, hear the prayers going up for deliverance and answers, watch the upheaval of change and the demands that stretch to breaking. You can hardly escape the relentless newscasts about hate-fueled violence, see the world reeling on its axis. A resurrection can seem like a distant improbability to the one firmly stuck in cold hard realities. And under the gray-metal skies and endless cold, a heart can begin to numb– get the life leeched right out of it even though it is still beating– forget to look up, to look ahead and hope. This is what Lent is for, to remind us of the promise that goes back to the very Beginning, and it sets up the cross in the middle of everything, with the very flesh of God suffering death and bringing life to us. The prophet Ezekiel wrote down the promise for his own people: “’Dry bones, hear the word of the Lord!…I will attach tendons to you and make flesh come upon you and cover you with skin; I will put breath in you, and you will come to life. Then you will know that I am the Lord.'” (Ezekiel 37:4-6) Jesus repeated it to His dear friends just before He called their brother back to them: “I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in Me will live, even though they die; and whoever lives by believing in Me will never die.” (John 11:25-26) Lent sends our cold numb hearts to the cross and the empty tomb, bids us gaze on the proof of God’s love, let the certainty of hope run in our veins again and look forward to what He is accomplishing. Every year Spring brings that reminder of what is True and Eternal: the promise that in the end, Life wins. “.…thanks be to God, who hath given us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ!” ( Corinthians 15:57)

The bare-boned trees stand silently cloaked in snow, but there is resurrection coming.


“Then will the lame leap like a deer, and the mute tongue shout for joy. Water will gush forth in the wilderness and streams in the desert.” (Isaiah 35:6)


 “For people who are stumbling toward ruin, the message of the Cross is nothing but a tall tale for fools by a fool. But for those of us who are already experiencing the reality of being rescued and made right, the Cross is nothing short of God’s power.”  (1 Corinthians 1:18)