“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things came into being through him, and without him not one thing came into being. … What has come into being in him was life, and the life was the light of all people.” (John 1:1-4)

      When I read words such as these, I hear a seed being planted. Perhaps we might call it the seed of the modern day tree of life. I hear possibility, promise, and hope. I hear that though things may seems dark and dead now, life is coming, life is entering in, and soon life will be spreading and will prevail throughout the earth.
      Last Sunday I mentioned that I had noticed the leaves of daffodils starting to push their way through the earth. Today I noticed the blooms that were already forming in the midst of those leaves. The forecasters are calling for a cold week again next week, but the flowers of spring are already forming!
      But this doesn’t just happen. It takes preparation. These flowers are here because someone took the trouble to put a bulb into the ground an tend it. They are here because of rain and sun that has poured on them in the past. They are a part of God’s creation, and recipients of God’s love, directly, and through others.
      And so they push. They push through cold and dark earth, because that is what they have been created to do. They raise their arms and lift up their heads and bring beauty and hope to those around them. All because they have been loved first.
      “We love because he first loved us.” (John 4:19)
      This spring, this Lent, we will be talking about the “Bread for our souls.” We will be exploring the ways that God has provided for our life in Jesus. We will be taking time to experience and celebrate God’s blessing, because this is God’s desire, that we should receive the light that gives life to all people.
      So it may be that you are subject to those winter doldrums. It may be that you feel like you to are covered by a blanket of snow and ice, and that it cannot be worth poking your head out again. But I encourage you to remember the blessings that you have received, and to remember that Jesus is the one who nourishes and saves us. So come out, lift up your arms, lift up your face, and receive and be the beauty of God. You have been created by God to receive and share love and beauty. May we all come to flower.