“May those who sow in tears reap with shouts of joy. Those who go out weeping, bearing the seed for sowing, shall come home with shouts of joy, carrying their sheaves (Psalm 126:5-6).”
Sometimes we Christians can give the impression that Christian spirituality is nothing more than participating in the rhythms of the created order, much like moving from winter into springtime. When viewed this way, Lent and Easter are good news in much the same way that the long-awaited return of spring following the cold months of winter is good news. New life will bud forth. The birds will offer their gracious song once again. Flowers will burst forth from their wintery tombs. All is natural and cyclical.
All of that is well and good. God knows that by mid-March we in Indiana are ready for the change of seasons. But that’s not what Christian spirituality is all about. We don’t simply put our hope in the cycles and the seasons of life. No, the faith of Christians is rooted in the One whose wondrous love and power conquered sin and death through the cross and resurrection of Jesus. Not winter, then spring. No, cross, death, then resurrection. That is a radical difference. Because we believe in the One who raised Jesus from the dead, we have radical hope. There is no corner so dark that God cannot overcome it.
Our faith is rooted in God who brings life where we can see only death. That is why those who sow in tears will reap with joy. God brings about the good through a radical act of new creation. Each day we must learn to surrender to and cooperate with the life-giving power of God.