May, glorious May! Was there ever a more welcome month of the year? January and February’s long, drawn-out winter is past, and April held the promise of spring — but alas, it proved only to be more of the same. More wind, more cold, more snow, and more gray skies. But now, May is here, and the sun shines, the warm breezes blow, and the earth grows green again.
The Christian hails the return of spring as evidence of our Lord’s faithfulness. Ever since Noah set foot off the ark on dry ground, God’s promise that “seedtime and harvest, cold and heat, winter and summer, day and night will not cease” (Gen 8:22) has been kept. The Lord has decreed it to be so in His marvelous providence, and He has fully kept His promise, as indeed He has with all of His promises. We may grouse about the coming of winter or a rainy spring day, but it’s important to keep in mind that these are evidence of the Lord of creation’s faithfulness towards us, His creatures.
Springtime also puts the believer in mind of the Last Day. Our Lord Jesus uses the coming of spring as a metaphor for the Day of Judgment. After describing some of the signs of the end, He goes on, “When these things begin to take place, stand up and lift up your heads, because your redemption is drawing near. …Look at the fig tree and all the trees. When they sprout leaves, you can see for yourselves and know that summer is near. Even so, when you see these things happening, you know that the kingdom of God is near” (Luke 21:28-30). The comparison is worth pondering. Winter can seem so cold, so dark, so impenetrable and endless, yet when the brightness and warmth of spring comes, it’s difficult even to remember what the winter was like. The welcome springtime banishes all thoughts of the winter that went before. In the same way, our Lord Jesus promises to renew all things by His resurrection from the dead. Through the forgiveness of our sins He has guaranteed to us that our redemption, the promised salvation, is coming, and it will not delay. Even though it may seem long and out of reach, He promises that when it comes, “the former things will not be remembered, nor will they come to mind” (Isa 65:17). The former things — pain, sorrow, sickness, guilt, and death — will fade away. “They will enter Zion with singing; everlasting joy will crown their heads. Gladness and joy will overtake them, and sorrow and sighing will flee away” (Isa 35:10). So Christians lift up their heads in all seasons, unafraid and filled with joy. We pray, as the Church always has, “Come, Lord Jesus.” Yes, come quickly, risen Lord. Amen.