You don’t have to be a Christian to rejoice in the world around us, or a Buddhist, Hindu, Jew, Muslim or complete infidel, for that matter. Everyone can rejoice in the blooming of Spring. I certainly enjoyed the view of flowering trees when I visited our son in Peekskill last weekend.
There are some reservations, of course, for those who pay really close attention to God’s creation and what we are doing to it. Signs such as global warming, species extinction or sprawling development tell us that all is not necessarily for the best, even as the world can be and was meant to be a beautiful place. Follow your joy as you find it and much of the natural world remains joyful. So does a great deal of the human drama. Fruit trees are probably blossoming in Afghanistan, Iraq and Syria right now, if they haven’t been blown up or cut down in the conflicts there. Human agency is responsible for climate change and conflict but can be a part of the cure, which offers hope unless we fail to find a way to make the changes needed to honor creation.
Underneath it all, the message is positive: Creation is good and humanity was made for the good. We were thrown from Eden and sank into sin, but God never gave up on us. God reaches out again and again even though we often reject the gesture as we did on Calvary hill. But God’s bag of tricks isn’t empty yet. I really do believe the Easter message tells us that moral regeneration is just as possible as the natural renewal of Spring. Some folks will wallow in pessimism and sin, some will trash the environment or the lives of their fellow humans to spin profit or keep hold of so-called “power”; but the good is so close, the true power is all around us.