The Victorian Priest and poet Gerard Manley Hopkins begins his poem entitled ‘Spring’ with the words “Nothing is so beautiful as spring”. How true that is. Each one of the seasons has its own beauty of course but I believe that spring is special. One only has to look around at the spring flowers lighting up the still bare landscape with their golden hue to feel the heart soar and gain a sense of newness and hope.

As I write this we are one week away from the glorious celebration of Christ’s resurrection on Easter Day. On Easter Sunday all our churches will be awakened from their Lenten solemnity and will be wonderfully embellished with the most beautiful floral displays (thanks to our talented teams of flower arrangers) in celebration of the Risen Lord. All around us we see signs of newness bursting into life.

I’m reminded of The Carpenters’ song, ‘We’ve only just begun’ which at this time of year offers a simple but wonderful synopsis of the message at the heart of the gospel. It goes on to say:

‘Before the risin' sun, we fly,
So many roads to choose
We'll start out walkin' and learn to run (And yes, we’ve just begun)’

Whoever we are, whatever we face, God holds out the prospect of a fresh start, of new horizons that beckon us onwards.

This glorious Eastertide, which, in the Church’s calendar goes on all through May until Pentecost on 9th June, continues the joy of Easter Day reminding us that each and every day is a new beginning. The witnesses to the first Easter slowly came to realise that, from an awful ending (the death of our Lord Jesus Christ), had come a new beginning, not just for Jesus but for everyone. Joy, hope, purpose and love, which had been buried with Jesus in the tomb, came leaping back to life; the future that a moment ago had seemed so empty was suddenly brimming over with promise.

Such is the hope of spring, offering signs of new life all around us, and in this wonder that is God’s creation we are invited to live each moment in the context of the God who makes all things new; the God who enables us confidently to declare: we’ve only just begun.

Yours in Christ
Jean Saddington, Team Vicar