Did you ever think you would be so happy to see dirt? DIRT! Squishy, muddy, beautiful brown dirt! We have spent the last few weeks entombed in snow and ice, the dreary bleakness seeping into our souls. The soggy weight of winter has bogged us down and we’ve gone into hibernation. We’ve hunkered in our homes waiting for the breath of spring that we had almost believed might never come. As the sun’s warmth begins to melt the frozen mounds at last, we are reminded that Lent is not our season of despair. Lent is our season to remember that God opened a way through the red sea, that Jesus stilled the fiercest storms, that we have been promised that when we turn our hearts towards God, the path will be made straight and God will get us through. We remember that the cross, that death, is not the end of our journey. From the bare, dark earth, new life will push forth. From an empty tomb, love and hope will pour out into the world. We remember that we are not a dying church. We are a resurrection church. We are the church of life, death, and new life, in and through Christ. In the words of the Apostle Paul, “If anyone is in Christ, there is a new creation: everything old has passed away; see, everything has become new!” (2 Cor 5:17) May you see the world in new and beautiful ways! Happy Spring thaw!!