By Brooke Fossell
I always find it easier to believe in the Resurrection in the springtime, when dead-looking trees begin turning green and perennials make their miraculous-seeming reappearance. Could it be that God designed spring to help us believe in the new life in Christ that He intends for His people? It cannot be a coincidence that Easter falls in the spring, as we celebrate the story of Jesus’ resurrection from the dead. This visual reminder of new life in nature, together with the Easter story, strongly reminds me of the reality of the new life in Christ that He offers to all who receive Him as their Savior and Lord.
This Easter season was a powerful one for me. In early April, I accepted the invitation to provide spiritual care as a chaplain for a small group of Protestants who live in a Roman Catholic retirement home called San Camillo/Saint Camillus. I spent hours preparing services for Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, and a service celebrating Easter the Monday afterward. Because most of the Protestant population at this retirement home follows the lectionary, I began using the Scriptures included in those days’ readings as a basis for my sermons.
One of the Scriptures that gripped me was the reading from Revelations 21, especially the fifth verse:
“He who was seated on the throne said, ‘I am making everything new!’ Then he said, ‘Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true.’”
What new work is Christ doing in His followers? Studies show that we become like those with whom we spend time. When we spend time with Jesus, we change. Our thinking changes to line up with truth, and our attitudes and life choices follow (Romans 12:1-2). We grow into the new creation that God intended us to be (2 Corinthians 5:17), as we learn to let go of our old ways of thinking and being and discover that His ways of thinking and being are far more satisfying and “fit” who we are better. We become free to use our gifts, passions, and talents to bless others.
As I grow and learn in my new career position, I see how God is indeed making everything new, as He uses me in ways I hadn’t thought to dream He could use me. He uses my little bit to bless others. I am continually being made new as I invite Him into every aspect of the work He has called me to. It feels like spring in my soul, with new growth, stretching, and blooming taking place all at once. Thanks be to God!