Forth he came at Easter like the risen grain, he that for three days in the grave had lain; raised from the dead, my living Lord is seen; love is come again like wheat arising green.
– From “Now the Green Blade Rises” ELW 379
The lilacs and the ornamental cherry trees in front of my house are screaming, “It’s Springtime!” And, even though the signs of spring are all around us it seems like we’ve had more hail and wind in these past weeks as well. The Sundays of Easter push us farther into spring this year than we are used to going. Pentecost Sunday falls just before graduation and all of the transitions that the end of a school year brings.
What I like about the hymn quoted above and what I like about the church year is that the wheat rises from the ground and Jesus is raised from the dead, and the whole process is out of our control. We cannot force the seed to germinate and take root, and we cannot force the resurrection to germinate and take root in the lives of God’s people. It is a process in God’s hands through the power of the Holy Spirit. We may have moments where we think we can manipulate the process, but it is not ours to control!
This is comforting to me and something for which I can say, “Thanks be to God!” I don’t know about you, but sometimes life feels like a juggling competition to keep as many balls in the air as possible. But what this hymn reminds me of is the things that I cannot and do not have to juggle. This is God’s work, and God can do so much better than me! This is what I hear when we sing that last line, “love is come again like wheat arising green.” God is in control, and God’s love comes to us as sure as the wheat will rise once more, as sure as the sun will rise in the morning.
The words we speak during the season of Easter are: Alleluia! Christ is Risen; Christ is Risen indeed, Alleluia! And this serves as our reminder that Easter isn’t a one day celebration. In fact, every Sunday throughout the year is considered a little Easter. We live each day in the promise that Christ is risen; we live each day knowing that love will come again; we live each day knowing that “if we have been united with him in a death like his, we will certainly be united with him in a resurrection like his.” And so Easter isn’t just about what God has done, but it is about what God continues to do. God continues to raise us to new life each and every day.
God’s Peace, Pastor Steve