Spring's Invitation

Spring is here! I see it on people’s faces, hear it in their conversation and feel it in their song. It hasn’t been a particularly hard winter but the coming of spring is always cause for celebration. The days are longer. The sun is warmer. There is a freshness in the air, a rejuvenation of life, an awakening of sorts.

What do you remember doing as a youngster in spring?

For me, more time was spent outside playing and exploring than in the months prior. I would look for signs of life in the pond. Because the sloughs would fill up with water my siblings and I would build rafts out of poplar trees, either finding used nails or rope to keep our creations together. Somehow we would always end up with a boot full of cold water!

Solomon uses the coming of spring as a metaphor for the awakening of love.

“My beloved speaks and says to me: ‘Arise, my love, my beautiful one, and come away, for behold, the winter is past; the rain is over and gone. The flowers appear on the earth, the time of singing has come, and the voice of the turtledove is heard in our land. The fig tree ripens its figs, and the vines are in blossom; they give forth fragrance. Arise, my love, my beautiful one, and come away’” (Song of Solomon 2:10-13).

One author surmises that Solomon’s work here is “the world’s first great love poem”. I do agree with the author, although, at the same time, I cannot ignore that Solomon’s love story parallels Jesus’ love story.

Solomon’s verses speak of a compelling invitation to start a new relationship, a new life. Jesus also extends a compelling invitation to a new relationship, a new life!

In the gospel of Matthew we read that one day Jesus was walking close to the Sea of Galilee when he saw a man collecting taxes for the Roman government. His name was Matthew. Incredible as it sounds, Jesus asks him to simply follow and he got up, leaving his former life behind, and followed.

What does it look like to follow Jesus in today’s world? I actually think we make it way more complicated than it actually is! In the gospel of Luke we read that people were bringing their little children to Jesus so that he might “touch them” (Luke 18:15). The disciples thought Jesus had more important things to do so they began to scold the people for doing this. Jesus didn’t like that very much and informed them that children were welcome. Jesus adds that “anyone who doesn't receive the Kingdom of God like a child will never enter it” (Luke 18:17).

A little child will believe you when you say that you’ll catch them so you’d better be ready! They are fearless because they trust you completely. That’s what it means to follow Jesus today... to trust Him completely with your life.

Have you felt that your life has been stuck in a kind of winter for the past few years? Well, the winter is past. Can you hear Jesus calling you? “Arise, my love, my beautiful one, and come away.” You can trust Him completely. It’s an invitation to a new relationship, a new life!