“Gather gladness from the skies;
Take a lesson from the ground;
Flowers do ope their heavenward eyes
And a Spring-time joy have found;
Earth throws Winter's robes away,
Decks herself for Easter Day.”
I love the way that Hopkins depicts the earth itself as coming out of the dark days of winter to celebrate Easter! We can relate with his imagery as we move ever further out of this time of Lent & towards Easter Sunday. But, we’re not there yet. Still in Lent we find ourselves in a time of grappling with darkness, a time of intro-spection, delving into the dark recesses of our hearts, finding those things that we may wish could stay hidden, but which Christ calls us to confess, to bring into the light of his presence. Christ calls us to this Lenten work not as a punishment, or to shame or cause us to despair, but so that he can transform our darkness into light, enabling us to truly arrive at Easter celebrating what he has done in us.
See, it’s only when we honestly expose our darkness to Christ that we can then experience his transforming power. It’s in our honest vulnerability where Christ enacts a mighty miracle in us: transform-ing our darkness into light! Bringing new life to us! Freeing us! Healing us! Making us his whole and holy people! And it is only after such an experience that we can arrive at Easter with something to truly celebrate. Christ’s powerful presence transforming our darkness into light is something like having our “Winter’s robes” thrown away, and our hearts decked out ready for Easter Day!
And then, and only then can we join whole-heartedly with the Psalmist in shouting out:
“Let everyone who breathes praise the Lord! Hallelujah!”(Psalm 150:6)
Blessings and Peace for our journey,