My beloved speaks and says to me: “Arise, my love, my beautiful one, and come away, for behold, the winter is past; the rain is over and gone. The flowers appear on the earth, the time of singing has come, and the voice of the turtledove is heard in our land.
[Song of Solomon 2:10-12]
Are you ready for the Victoria Day long weekend? Who am I kidding? After a winter like this last one, who isn’t? For many people in Canada this annual holiday marks the unofficial start of summer … or at least the summer mindset. Sometimes I think that we try to hurry the warm days of summer along by all agreeing to use our barbeques all weekend long. It couldn’t hurt, could it?
Even though the actual start of summer will still be a full month away, people all across our country will use this coming Victoria Day weekend to live like its summer already. Along with the aforementioned backyard cooking will come patios with all their long-forgotten furniture, music, family get-together’s and just a general feeling of happiness that the worst is finally over.
And lest you think I’m upset that people would be “jumping the gun” and letting loose too soon, let me assure you I am not. In fact, if anything, they’re late to the party! For we’ve already begun our celebrations in Easter. We’ll still be celebrating when the long weekend comes around. But we’re not celebrating the end of winter and the coming of summer. We’ve got bigger things to be joyful about. For Easter marks the end of death and the beginning of everlasting Life!
In Easter we throw open the doors and windows of the cold and oppressive life of sin and joyously step into the bright sunshine of God’s love and forgiveness in Christ Jesus. From the open and empty tomb flows a refreshing breeze full of the promise of new life and beautiful days ahead. In Easter we are guaranteed the food of everlasting life, at a banquet table that never empties. In Easter we look forward to the grandest family reunion ever seen. All our long lost and distant relatives together again for a backyard party at God’s own house.
But aren’t we jumping the gun ourselves in celebrating all this already?
For where the bright summer promises of meteorologists must always be taken with a handy umbrella and a backup plan, the promises of God in Christ are iron-clad. They are already ours. The moment the angels announced the good news over the rolled away stone and the empty grave clothes the party was already well under-way. And it is only picking up. Never feel bad about enjoying it now … it’s been a long time coming!