Summary: The onset of Spring is set forth as a glorious picture of Christ’s renewal of His church.
On March 20th you and I will enjoy another vernal equinox or the coming of Spring to the Northern Hemisphere. What a glorious time of the year!
One of the great poets said, "The trumpet of prophecy, O Wind. If Winter come, can Spring be far behind?"
Spring casts its magical spell over young lovers. The farmer, with his Almanac in hand, is smiling again. The golfer comes out of hibernation. The birds begin their song again and even the woodpecker taps out his disharmony.
Dr. Clarence Macartney wrote of his boyhood in Beaver Falls, Pennsylvania and the coming of Spring each year. He said, "Whenever the ice went out of the river we knew that Spring could not be far off. At last the free river, released from its captivity of the Winter, sang its way to the Ohio."
For we, who live in the Northern Hemisphere, it seems that the sun has taken a leave of absence. The snow seems to be nothing more than a white sheet pulled over an earth that has died.
But wait! The sun is on its way. It will reach and cross the equator on March 20th. We have a promise!
That promise is found in Genesis 8:22. The Lord says, "While the earth remaineth, seedtime and harvest, and cold and heat, and summer and winter, and day and night shall not cease."
Spring is coming. Mark it down. The Creator has always kept His word. The Winter will pass. The dogwood will blossom. Nature’s orchestra will play again. Music will fill the air again. There’s hope in the coming of Spring.
I love the city of Mobile, Alabama. It is famous for its Azalea Trail. I’ve seen ole Mobile shiver a bit under the cool breath of Winter. I’ve seen Winter put its icy death grip on Mobile’s azaleas. One would think, "They’ll never make it all the way back." But then they do and the city is ablaze with their glory. How’d it all happen? Just a one-word answer....God!
It must have been the Springtime which Isaiah had in mind when he wrote, "The trees of the field shall clap their hands." Isaiah 55:12
All creation is alive in Spring. Resurrection life abounds. Job said, "Though the root thereof wax old in the earth, and the stock thereof die in the ground; Yet through the scent of water it will bud, and bring forth boughs like a plant." Job 14:8,9
Springtime affords us a great parable of renewal in the church. Jesus Christ, in Malachi’s prophecy, is set forth as the Sun of Righteousness, Who arises with healing in His wings.
Revival means that the church positions itself to receive these life-giving beams. They refresh. They revive. They heal. They warm.
Just as earth’s sun is on its way toward us, even so is the Sun of Righteousness moving by His Spirit toward us today. When He comes to His church spiritual coldness is replaced by spiritual fire.
The experience which the disciples had on the Day of Pentecost brought renewal. It was like the onset of a Springtime. Suddenly, they are full of a new life.
Simon Peter had learned the fine art of swordsmanship. Previously, he had taken a sword and slashed wildly at a man as Jesus was arrested in the garden. Now he takes another sword. It is the heavenly steel of God’s Word. The crowd was "pricked in their heart." The rest is history.
The resurrection of Jesus is a kind of a vernal equinox. At the cross, death put its icy fingers on His throat. He breathed His last breath. A wintry night set in. Hope was gone for all mankind.
Just as Aaron’s rod was laid up in the Tabernacle, even so was our Lord laid up on a slab of death. And just as Aaron’s lifeless rod began to bud and blossom, even so resurrection life came into the body of our Lord. He arose!
The sun has come up again. Earth is resounding with His glory. Jesus Christ has been certified as mankind’s only Redeemer. There’s hope again.
Maybe you’re having a kind of spiritual wintertime. It seems God is far away and your heart is crusted over with fear and doubt. Your prayer seems to bounce back at you. You’ve been many days without a song. You ask, "Will God ever be real to me again?"
I have come today with good news. Yes, He will be real to you today. Kurt Kaiser wrote, "When in the Spring the flow’ers are blooming bright and fair, After the gray of Winter’s gone. Once again the lark begins its tuning, Back in the meadows of my home. Lord, to my heart bring back the Springtime. Take away the cold and dark of sin; Oh, refill me now sweet Holy Spirit. May I warm and tender be again."
That’s a good prayer for all of us to pray right now.