It was a long, cold winter in most parts of the country this year—record breaking in many places. It reminded me of the winters we had when I was little, and of the stories my parents told of days gone by, like the one of my grandfather digging a tunnel through the snow to get from the house to the barn. Those memories and stories might have grown some through the years, but the fact is that many of us are happy to see this particular winter turn, ever so slowly, into spring.
Spring is the most symbolic of the seasons for Christians. Each daffodil that raises its head through the cold earth, each dogwood tree that blooms, each lawn that turns from brown to green, tells its own small resurrection story – what appeared to be dead is alive! It is fitting that Easter comes in springtime.
In all of the history of all the world’s religions there is no set of events as profound, as miraculous, as significant as the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. By His death he redeemed us, and by His resurrection He opened the gates of heaven to us all. These two events are central to Christian belief, and offer courage and comfort to the faithful.
The last days of Jesus’ life assure us that the end is truly just a beginning. But it was during the few years before His death and resurrection that Jesus taught us how to live a more full and blessed life while we’re still here on earth. His simple message that we love one another, that we forgive each other, and that we see to the needs of the poor and the oppressed is profound in its simplicity. Imagine a world where we all lived by these simple precepts—a world at peace with shared prosperity for all.
Of course we don’t live in that world but that doesn’t mean that we can’t help in our own ways to make this world a better place. One of the fundamental objectives of The Fuller Center for Housing is to provide people with a means of living the gospel. Every house we build or renovate is a sermon of God’s love and of our love for one another. We bring people together—rich and poor, black and white, Baptist and Episcopalian—all working together to help families in need. And we seek to lift people not just out of poverty housing but out of poverty.
As we celebrate the resurrection and the rebirth that surrounds us in springtime we should all seek renewal in our own hearts. Then we need to reach out and touch the life of someone who could use a helping hand and offer them a new beginning as well. One of the great messages of the season is that we can always start anew, and that by blessing others we are blessed ourselves.
I wish you and yours a joyous Easter and a happy spring!