Although the winters are long and cold up here in Minnesota, I do enjoy the four seasons and there is no time so pleasant as the end of winter and the early breaking out of spring. There are buds on the trees trying to see the light of day. Sunlight is lasting longer into the evening and temperatures are doing their best to get and stay above the 50 degree mark. The last vestige of snow is gone except for those deep shaded areas. The ground is gray with the remains of last years foliage and it is at this point I can only imagine how beautiful it will all be in another month or so. For me, spring is a time for hope. It is a time to reflect back on some difficult times and look ahead to a new beginning, a new season as it were. The old has past away and a fresh newness has arrived. Perhaps this ties in with Easter. Jesus was dead, cold, and gray while he lay in that tomb. And tomorrow He arises in the bright radiant freshness of new life reaching out His arms drawing us in to the warmth of His love. Two old hymns come to mind; The Old Rugged Cross and Just As I Am. I’ve never really thought these songs had a commonality until I started thinking about spring and the meaning of Easter. Jesus died on that cross and we have to bring ourselves, just as we are, to Him who is on that cross in order to take on the new life He has promised.