Pastors Corner


I’ve been thinking a lot about the phrase “New Life” recently. There are a few reasons for this. The first reason is that Easter Sunday happened three weeks ago, which means to churchy people like me that we’re in the season of Easter in the Church year. Christians celebrate seven total weeks in the Easter Season where we are supposed to keep our eyes out for God bringing New Life to our world. Obviously, the early Christians made sure the churchy season of Easter coincided with the vernal season of spring. It's not hard to see why. New grasses and flowers popping out of the ground are supposed to make us wonder if God might be doing something new with us too, and the beauty of new life around us encourages us to let God try, even if making something new seems hard.

I bet it’s hard for some of those seeds to start popping up. They have to push up through hard ground, escape the lips of wandering deer, and endure severe thunderstorms that are bound to come. But they push up anyway, guided by the hand that created them long ago. Then again, I bet they’re not thinking about all of that as they take their first breaths of new life, they’re plants for crying out loud, not people. For us, we tend to have a more complicated relationship with new life. We hope “new” won’t mean “hard” but it oftentimes means exactly that. God might push us to think new thoughts, form new habits, start new relationship, renew old relationships, or even end old relationships. New Life sounds good until it hits hard soil and hungry animals, then we might want to dive back into the ground again. If only we could go directly from seed to flower.

But I wonder what would happen if we honored the small steps toward new life inasmuch as we hope to see the end result? Maybe this year, in this Easter season, we’re not supposed to grow into the full new plant God is making out of us? Maybe this is the year God brings that first green shoot above the soil. And maybe next year that first leaf appears. And maybe three years down the road a bud bursts forth. New life requires both birth and growth, and birth and growth take time. Maybe God paces the new life he brings so that new growth is a little less hard? Whether you’re a Christian or not, a good question to ask during spring is “What new thing is happening with me?” It doesn’t have to be life-shattering or life-changing to be important, it can be something very small. What new challenge or new risk or new relationship or new habit or new decision is being birthed in you? How might God nurture and grow it down the road? New life shows up in a lot of ways this time of year. Sure, we love to see the beautiful blossoms and canopies full of leaves that new life becomes, but we’d be smart to also see it in the seeds and shoots and in barely formed buds at our feet. How might God be bringing new life to you this spring? Even if it’s not fully grown, it’s still new life and who knows what God is growing it into?