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Editorial: “Spring has Sprung” or whatever

Published Date: April 2, 2024

The air is thick with humidity and pollen. Birds and squirrels chatter at each other all day. Flowers are blooming everywhere. The days are getting ever-longer.

Most people would see this and say, “Spring is here!” No way, dude – this is a trick. As I write, it’s mid-March, and cold fronts are still moving through at least weekly. Even the calendar says it’s not spring yet. This is what northerners call False (or Fool’s) Spring.

Fool’s Spring can come and go all the way through May. My dad tells stories about his college graduation – it was snowing hard enough that they had to line up in the chapel basement. That same university would have had snow for graduation day if they’d had it in 2020. This would be less surprising if graduation wasn’t on Mother’s Day weekend. Sometimes, winter does everything it can to have the final word.

Growing up, we had plenty of Easter Sundays with snow on the ground. Several churches in our area used to team up for a sunrise service on the top of a hill overlooking the Genesee River valley. I can’t remember going to that worship service without having to bundle up in the old snowsuit. This is the reality of spring in western New York: it comes when it’s good and ready and teases you along the way.

I am among those spring skeptics who are doubtful that the first signs of life mean winter is over. I try to be grateful for the foretaste without believing cold spells won’t be back. (Having a mindset like this explains why my friends consider me a realist, rather than an optimist or pessimist.) It’s a tension I’ve learned to accept after years of being disappointed by freezing cold track meets into late April.

Perhaps this isn’t so different from Christians since the inception of the church living in the already/not yet. We are not oblivious to the brokenness of the world. In many ways, evil will seem to prevail until the Kingdom of God comes in its fullness. However, we also catch glimpses of kingdom life even now – moments where peacemakers prevail, the ailing neighbor receives care, and the Word of God is planted in eager hearts. These foretastes remind us that the winter we’re living through now is not the end of the story. Spring is coming. Thanks be to God!

This article is by Julia Hotchkiss, Alumni Office Student Worker.

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