Tonawanda News

April 9, 2014

LETTER: Spring brings spiritual renewal

The Tonawanda News

Tonawanda News — Each season has something to enjoy and something to celebrate. Spring, however, is full of feeling and life! We’re no longer trapped in the house. The snow is gone. I don’t have to worry about slipping on the ice. I can go out! Once you get there you notice things. The day lilies are 3 inches tall already. Snow drops and crocuses are blossoming. The robins are in full possession of the yard. The chives and parsley are greening up in the garden.

The geese are back, they’re out in the pond. Wait a minute, that’s my backyard they’re swimming in! That’s part of the fun, and the feeling of joy and freedom is so real you can touch it. The feeling of spring is almost universal. That feeling runs deep in our culture and psyche. It is what gives us deep meaning and helps us order our life, and is what we call spiritual.

In India, the Hindu spring festival of colors has just finished. The colors celebrate the spring and coming flowering of nature. “Holi” is celebrated all over India. The end of the winter in China is greeted with the water festival by Buddhists. It is a time when older people are revered and honored. People come to pray at temples.

It is very deliberate that our feasts are set in this time of the year. It is a time of freedom and new life; a sacred moment when we break free of our bondage and we would have liberty for everyone. We celebrate our freedom from slavery and even freedom from death. The great celebration of freedom is not about others as much as what is being done for me; my freedom. My liberation. My life! What the Almighty has done for me. This is at the heart of Passover, where the Lord worked wonders on our behalf.

It is also a season sacred to Christians for many of the same reasons. It is freedom and liberty from death and the promised new lease on life in a resurrection to an eternal spring. Easter is the most sacred holy day on the Christian calendar. As the Lord had done wonders for the people in Moses’ time, Christians celebrate the returning of life in Jesus’ resurrection.

As we celebrate, let the spiritual renewal and dawn of this season of spring give us a new sense of life and the goodness of living this season.

The Rev. John A. Marshall 

Director of Spiritual Care at Niagara Hospice