Easter Hope

By Jayne Elliott

“See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland.”

(Isaiah 43:19 NIV)

I love spring – nature bursting back into life, the lighter mornings and warmer temperatures making it easier to drag myself off the sofa and go for a run before work. Spring is full of life, new shoots, new opportunities and growth. It’s so
much easier to feel hopeful. Winter in contrast, can feel like a wilderness, a dry barren season. When I look out at our garden, as a non- gardener, it can look like nothing is happening. However, my husband, who is a keen gardener, always reminds me that without the winter there would be no spring. If I could see below the soil, I’d see seeds germinating and putting down their roots deep into the soil, drawing on its nourishment.

As February approaches I watch eagerly for the first signs of snowdrops peeping out from the earth and look forward to March when the daffodils burst into life, creating carpets of sunshine, announcing that spring has finally arrived, as it does each year. Even a global virus hasn’t stopped it.

There is much that has been challenging, even painful over the past year. Many of us are grieving the loss of loved ones, or family celebrations that have had to be postponed, rearranged or cancelled; or felt more isolated or lonely. However, spring also means Easter (and Easter chocolate for us chocoholics) so again as I journey through our Lent reflections and walk through the Holy Week, I am similarly reminded there could be no resurrection without the trials, pain and betrayal that led up to Jesus’ crucifixion. There could be no hope of new birth without His sacrifice. Sometimes to find the new thing God wants to do, we have to let go of the old thing that we feel more comfortable and familiar with and step out in faith, even when we can’t yet fully see what God is doing.

What new thing are you longing for? Who in your family or neighbourhood might need God to do a new thing in their lives? What could you do to encourage them to hold onto hope in the waiting? Thank God for all our evangelists who will be being messengers of hope this Easter in their communities across the UK & Ireland. May the message of Easter fill you with hope; may the signs of spring bring you joy.

Jayne Elliott, Leadership Development Officer