I wrote this last week to appear in tomorrow's paper and wouldn't you know it, we were hit with a 36 hour snow storm on Friday and Saturday which makes my pining for snow sound ridiculous this week. Oh well.
...about Snow Days
I remember the snow days we used to get when I was a kid. Maybe I’ve just got a selective memory but it seemed we used to get a lot more snow back in my grade school days in the ‘70s. I grew up in Burlington, only an hour away from here, but it seemed to me that there would be snow on the ground all winter long. And you could probably count on three or four big storms that would shut down the schools.
We’ve had snow this winter but not the up-to-your-knees kinds of snowfalls that I remember from my childhood. (Granted, my knees were closer to the ground back then.) When it snowed here this winter it might have stayed on the ground for a week before we saw the brown grass again. And those snow days when the school would be shut down didn’t happen at all. I think the school was closed once this winter and not because of a heavy snowfall but because of the threat of freezing rain.
I like winter to be winter. It should be cold and there should be snow. This is Canada after all. If I were in charge of the weather we’d have a blanket of snow a week or two before Christmas (because Irving Berlin has taught us all to dream of a White Christmas), it would last through the March Break so that kids could play in the snow on their week off, and we’d have 3 or 4 storms evenly spaced in between that would give kids the much-loved snow days off of school.
Having said all that, I’m ready for spring. I wrote this a week ago as snow was falling. It’s March Break now and I don’t know if there’s any snow on the ground as you read this. But now I’m looking forward to spring. Spring brings with it new life as the snow melts, the ground thaws, and nature begins to green up. The days have been getting longer and with the clocks springing forward this past weekend we get even more daylight in the evening.
In the church we’re approaching the end of the season of Lent. Lent is a springtime for the soul. It’s a time of renewal. In our church, before we hear the reading of the Gospel, we sing "Return to the Lord your God, for he is gracious and merciful, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love" (Joel 2:13). It’s a time for our spirit’s to be refreshed as we anticipate Holy Week and Easter.
During Lent we journey with Christ toward the cross. The cross looms before us and its shadow falls on our path as we journey. But for Christians the cross does not loom ominously. We see hope in the cross. We see glory and triumph as Jesus willingly gives himself for us. And on Easter that hope is realized in the new life that Jesus promises to all.
Life after death. Springtime following winter. May the grace of Christ warm you and give you new life as we move into the warmth of a new season.