Growing up, I would eagerly await Easter. After long stretches of cold winter, I couldn’t wait for warmer months. The Easter season promised planting new flower seeds, hiding Easter eggs, and more time basking in the spring sun.
During the six and a half weeks leading up to Easter, some Christians practice Lent, preparing for Easter by giving up certain things, reflecting on Jesus Christ’s suffering, and examining their lives and hearts for sin that needs to be surrendered to Jesus.
Where I live, Lent begins while we are still under the snowy veils of winter. I begin Lent in the shadows, reflecting on Christ’s suffering and on my own sacrifices as I think about how to let go of whatever isn’t helping me grow in my relationship with Jesus.
As the weeks go on, the days lengthen, with the light lingering ever more. Sunshine lifts my spirits. As I get to know the loving spirit of Christ more deeply, what I’ve given up leaves space for the light to enter. By the time Easter arrives, the sun has cleared away the slush to reveal where flowers have bloomed. I feel the light brightening my heart too. I can have hope for the future, keeping room for even more of God’s love to pour into my soul like the water from Christ’s pierced side, bringing forth blossoms from the hardened ground.
In this season of Lent, I search, and prepare. I ready myself to open the tomb, discovering that Christ has risen. Seeds of faith planted grow as Easter Day arrives. In this time, let’s keep ourselves open to new possibilities, to finding Christ in the light that reaches us every day, even as we wait for winter to recede into the past. Every day we have hope in Jesus, and we can open ourselves to new surprises, new sources of joy—like a hidden egg found. • Kathryn Sadakierski
• Waiting for Easter, and for all good things to come in our lives, can be difficult, but as we wait, what graces are there to be found? How has God helped you grow in seasons of waiting?
• Have you ever found yourself surprised by joy? What was that like?
By his power God raised the Lord [Jesus Christ] from the dead, and he will raise us also. 1 Corinthians 6:14 (NIV)