AN EASTER MESSAGE FROM REVEREND JOHANNA
Sun is streaming on my walk that led me down a muddy, snowy, icy lane through the bush, alongside my country home. Treading carefully along the lane’s edge into the softness of the melting snow, a pond covered with a blanket of ice, stilled my steps. In silence, it’s coldness surrendering to the sun’s warmth. Barren trees, majestic they stand, sap rising within, yearning to bloom forth into new life. Small seeds buried under cold and decaying leaves, silently cracking open in the midst of their darkness, soon to shine forth into the beauty of new life. What a powerful lesson is spring, God’s promise of new life, an everlasting covenant.
Spring is one time we truly welcome its coming, and embrace its warmth and lengthening of days, bringing forth more light into our lives.
“There is something infinitely healing in the
repeated refrains of nature -- the assurance that dawn comes
after night, and spring after winter.”
― Rachel Carson (1907-1964, writer, scientist, ecologist, author of Silent Spring)
The God of Creation gives us the assurance that spring will come. This season of spring also has within it, God’s silent prayer for all of humanity to be able to grow and to see hope in the midst of the darkness; the very soil that enriches new life. It is never an easy journey this growing into new life, as we have been shown in the person of Jesus, the Christ of our faith, yet a journey that needs to take place in the darkness for resurrection to take place. In the Gospel of Mark we read Jesus’ words:
“For those who want to save their life will lose it,
and those who lose their life for my sake,
and for the sake of the gospel, will save it.” (Mark 8:35)
We have journeyed through the Season of Lent, a time, which has invited us to reflect upon God’s love and care for us, and our world. It is a time when we are called to repent and to change. It is a time to consider changing behavior, attitudes, habits that are not life giving and to make choices with fresh perspectives and actions knowing that we are not alone, that we do so by the grace of God and through the Spirit of the Living Christ.
Come on a journey into new life throughout Holy Week. Come with who you are in your joys, sorrows, hurts, pains, and need for healing. Come and hear the story of the “Way of Suffering”; share in a meal in remembrance of the Last Supper on Palm Sunday; stand at the cross On Good Friday when Jesus breathed his last, sighing deeply knowing your pain; wait at the tomb of darkness to hear his voice of love, the voice of hope, the voice of new life on Easter morning.
Death is not victorious, “He is Risen” out of the darkness, breaking into a new day! Let us rise anew with Christ into new life, new hope, a new vision as a community of faith. Let us grow into the mission of Christ anew as disciples renewed. May you have a Blessed and Joyous Easter!! .
Prayerfully Yours in Christ
Rev. Johanna VanderSpek,
Rev. Johanna VanderSpek has been an ordained minister for 18 years. Prior to ordination in 1998, Johanna worked with children and youth as a Staff Associate. Johanna also enjoyed a career in the corporate world as a Research Statistician until she became a stay at home mom. She is now widowed, and enjoys visits with her son and daughter and their children who live in California and Ireland. Johanna comes to us after spending two years with St. John’s United Church in Alliston as their supply minister. We are thankful for the experience and gifts she brings and look forward to a fruitful year together