Thanksgiving in Spring…that’s what this time of year is for me.
I reflect back to yesterday when my wife and I spent the day in Washington, DC enjoying the magnificence found in the height of the Cherry Blossom Festival. Millions of people converge on this spectacle every year…and if you’ve ever walked through the canopy of branches holding those small pale pink flowers with the occasional precipitation of tiny pedals raining down, you know why. It’s hard not to be taken to a different place while meandering through this fairy tale like environment. It’s hard not escape from the worldly pressures we live in every day. It’s hard not to stop and be thankful for being alive.
Partway through our walk, we pulled off to the side of the path and spread out a blanket in a slightly secluded pocket away from the crowds. We sat, talked, dreamed and took in all that was around us. We watched as others were doing the same thing. Parents with their children, business men on their lunch break and even a couple of seemingly rebellious teenagers stopping to pick just a single flower from one of the trees when they thought no one was looking. I was so thankful for being alive.
As I laid there staring up at the floral canopy above me, I read through Leviticus 7. I’ve read through this chapter before a few times over the years and I always categorized it in Old Testament ceremonial traditions that had no real relevance to me today. It was in a time of rules and regulations that preceded the freedom that Christ gave. This time reading through it was different though. As I read through the specifics of how the offerings were to be made, it resonated with me how difficult it was to meet the details that were required to make these offerings acceptable. The payment needed was not easy to fulfill. The gap that needed to be bridged couldn’t be made by some artificial placeholder. There was one way to fulfill it and anything outside of that method was deemed unacceptable.
Here on this Easter Sunday, I’m faced with the same revelation of how Christ satisfied the stiff and narrow requirements placed before me. I was cut off from my people…I was destined for an eternity of fire. But…
And now…I am alive
…because He is alive.
This is my Thanksgiving in Spring.