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Spring into God's promise
April 30, 2012
by Pastor Bethany Nelson, Bethel Lutheran Church, Lester Prairie

Spring is here – that wonderful time of year when we Minnesotans begin to come out of hibernation. Our bodies have become restless; we are ready for the warmth and sunlight of the season.

As I walk my dog, Caesar, I’ve enjoyed seeing the countryside awaken these last few weeks. Tulips are in bloom. Trees are turning green. Gone are traces of snowplows – in their place, the streets are filled with runners and walkers alike.

Spring is here – and with it, all of creation seems to be coming to life. I, too, am finding myself walking with a little more hop in my step. Sunshine, rather than coffee, seems to do the trick to awaken me from sleep to greet the day. I can practically hear all of creation giving thanks for the day, for the opportunity to take in the sun’s rays, to grow, and to be nourished.

I find myself singing an old favorite hymn: “When through the woods and forest glades I wander, I hear the birds sing sweetly in the trees; when I look down from lofty mountain grandeur and hear the brook and feel the gentle breeze; then sings my soul, my Savior God, to thee, how great thou art! How great thou art!”

Seeing these signs of new life, I give thanks for all God has given, because I know that we have been created by a God who put the stars in the sky, and causes each blade of grass to grow. Big or small, not one thing does God overlook. And while on a summer night I may wonder why God couldn’t have forgotten the mosquito; today, I am in awe of creation, and our God who created it.

Spring is a perfect time of year, I think, to live into all that God has created. It is a wonderful time to remind ourselves of the many ways God loves and provides for us: from the crops that yield food, to the clouds that bring forth rain; from our pets that bring companionship, to our neighbors who provide community and friendships.

On this day, brothers and sisters, breathe in the fresh air, open your eyes, and see what God has done! Look and see how God loves and cares for you! The new life we experience each spring is a sign of God’s promise: in Christ, you are a new creation. In Christ you are forgiven, made new, and given eternal life. Live into this promise!

And then, share what you have been given with others, too. How can you be a participant in God’s story? Maybe it’s by sharing your garden vegetables with a neighbor, inviting a friend to worship, or doing something nice for a stranger.

How can you live into the promises of life and love God has given? Use your imagination! If you need a little creative inspiration, just look outside and see all that God has done.

In these days of spring, may each and every sign of spring remind you of God’s love and presence in your life. And may you be filled with the assurance of the new life and hope we have in Christ.