Spring! That beautiful time when the weather gets warm, the bird start singing, the sun is bright and the trees begin to bud. It is a season bursting with new life. Unfortunately, as soon as the weather gets warm, another snowfall buries everything. The month of March usually sees 7 inches of snow, but this March recorded more than 2 feet. Some people stopped checking the weather because they found it depressing. I think Mother Nature has a funny sense of humor. I also know for certain that a beautiful spring, lovely summer, and even a great autumn are all in store for us. It’s not a question of “if” but rather a matter of “when.” The seeds are in the soil waiting to germinate when the conditions are right.

As much as Wisconsinites yearn for spring, even more deeply do we yearn for new life. Some of us are very aware of our need for new life. We may regret bad choices we made, or the scars and wounds from traumas that were beyond our control. We may feel overwhelmed at times, trapped, or hopeless. We may have allowed patterns of addiction to rule our lives because they make things more bearable. By addiction I don’t mean just drugs, alcohol, nicotine, porn or vaping. Staying up to the wee hours gaming, binge-watching, snap-chatting or using TV can be an addiction. Making sure there is constant noise in the house, being overly-committed and constantly “busy”, shopping, trying to be in control all the time, isolating myself, or making sure I am always with someone are all activities designed to numb the pain.

“What pain?” you might ask. We often fail to recognize the symptoms of pain. We have been made by Love and for Love. God made us for Himself, and no amount of pleasure, possessions, popularity or power wIll fill this deepest longing. We will only find true life in Him. We will only find true love when we let God love us. His life and His love are already present within you. They are like seeds buried in the soil, ready to burst forth. The problem is you keep piling up snow every time you reject God’s will for you and turn to sin. The things you use to cope with life are actually delaying the springtime of your soul.

Easter invites you to stop coping and to start really living. What does really living look like? It looks like Jesus’ unconditional love for every single person. How would your life be different if you no longer had to worry about the past because you had been forgiven and forgave others? Imagine being completely free from worry because you could trust you heavenly Father to provide for all your needs, just like Jesus did. Can you see yourself joining a church community that loves unconditionally and treats every person with dignity and respect? How would you live differently if God’s Holy Spirit lived inside of you and guided you to make a positive difference in the lives of others? Easter happens when we stop trying to do it ourselves. Instead we turn to God and let the warmth of his love melt the snow in our hearts. Then God’s love will begin to blossom and overflow in you.

Christ is risen! Happy Easter!
Fr. Joel