Spring is a special and wonderful time of year!
Gardens are beginning to take shape.
Flowers and trees are beginning to bud and blossom.
There are signs throughout the snow covered northern hemisphere that cold is giving way to warmer days.
Spring is also a time of celebration for other reasons.
What images come to mind with that word?
Colored eggs & egg hunts? Candy? Rabbits? Marshmallow chicks? An empty tomb?
Passover is another spring celebration. How do your mental images change with that word?
A lamb? Slaves in Egypt? A scene from Cecil B. DeMille’s The Ten Commandments starring Charlton Heston & Yul Brynner?
No matter what your reasons to celebrate, nor how you choose to celebrate, this is a special and wonderful time of year.
But there is more for the Judaeo-Christian world to celebrate and remember at this time of year.
As Moses led the Israelites out of Egypt, he led them from slavery to liberty, a chance to prove to themselves and to their God how well they would rule themselves. Would they choose a life of self-control and liberty or would they return to slavery under new masters, masters of sin and false gods?
For Christians, Paul’s message to the Galatians in 5:1, “Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage” is a reminder of not only the Savior’s death and resurrection, but also of the purpose of his sacrifice, to set us free from bondage, the bondage of sin. He goes on to name some very specific sins, to wit. “Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like…”
Then he names fruits of the Spirit, “love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance.”
Wouldn’t we all like to have more of the fruits of the Spirit in our lives?
Spring/Passover/Easter can be a time of celebration and renewal, especially if we accompany our celebrations with a review of the things that drive away the love, joy, peace, etc. that we desire and determine to do better at replacing the attitudes and actions that drive away the Spirit (and liberty) with the ones that welcome the Spirit into our personal and family lives. Let’s all make the choice to better govern ourselves. As we do so, we will not only increase our personal liberty, but we will make the world around us a little bit better, a little bit brighter, a little bit more peace-filled, and a little more free.