It was only about a week ago when we were starting to put a new layer of mulch out in our front garden areas when my wife commented about one of the bushes out there that she thought she might have killed it when she pruned it. It had yet to start showing any forms of blooms and it looked like a big ol stick planted in the ground. I said something like, “I doubt you did…don’t forget it has been a weird Spring.” Well, today, I was out spreading mulch (again) and noticed that it had about 4 buds starting to pop out. But it wasn’t until about an hour after I noticed that I saw something else. Something about where this pictured bud was and that moment where the sun was and where shadows were cast…only this one bud was in the sunlight. The rest of the bush was still in shadow.
It was then I flashed back to what I read in Mark yesterday (started Luke today). The last three chapters of Mark tell the story of the last days of Jesus – a story of a beautiful anointing of Jesus, the Last Supper, the betrayal, the denials, the punishment, the trial, the crucifixion, the burial. And when that body was placed in that new tomb, I don’t think that too many (if any) of his followers believed there would be new life coming. Much like my wife felt with this bush…it sure looked dead and nothing was coming back. But the story continued…a few days later…life. Resurrection. New. Glorious.
This is the story of God’s work – life that can come from death. Light out of darkness. New out of the old. Hope out of despair. Joy out of sorrow. While Mark’s story of the resurrection is told quite differently than the other Gospels, the same truth is within…”Why do you look for the living among the dead? He is not dead but he is alive.” In this Eastertide season, I continue to give thanks for the ways that life continues to rise.