“Now the Green Blade Rises” (ELW 379)
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See “Now the Green Blade Rises” (ELW 379) at hymnary.org
When I was a child, I couldn’t figure out if Jesus really died or if he was just hiding to make it look like he died. I can still understand why people think the resurrection is a magic trick and why, when our loved ones die we look at God as if to say, “For all that talk about life and joy and eternity, this is terrible and feels like the end.”
When my children ask about death, I have been faced with a few choices. I can stay firmly theological, but it will be too abstract. I can focus on the life part and act like death is a blip on the radar, a 72-hour bummer before Easter Sunday. Or I can point to the seasons we experience in the North. They are all old enough to remember how climate and weather are both generally predictable and completely wild. They have been through both dry and swampy summers, both mild and frigid winters. There is imagery all around us about what is certain: The sun rises in the east. We wear jackets in the winter. And there are memories about what we cannot predict and control: This January’s stretch of gloom, and then—how much juicy, luscious fruit our strawberry bush will produce!
God of winter rest and green blades, we give thanks for the signs of winter and spring that remind us we are creatures and creation, death and resurrection, seasons of becoming anew. Amen.