North Highland United Methodist Church
Monday, May 17, 2021
Open Hearts, Open Minds, Open Doors
Signs of Spring
I have often wondered what my grandfather Gordon would say if he knew how often he made it into my  sermons, and now into a newsletter. He was tough and compassionate, full of both fun and integrity, a consummate story-teller and a great authority on historical facts regarding his favorite topic, the “wild west” as well as early settling of the Dakotas. He had a first hand account of the latter, arriving in SW North Dakota at the age of seven and seeing the town, including the Methodist church, begin from the ground up.
But I digress...what I was actually thinking about today is how excited this seasoned farmer/rancher would get each spring when the snow was nearly gone. He would take one of us four grandkids out in his ‘47 red pick-up to check on the new calves, but it was always presented as “let’s go look for crocuses”. Somehow, finding the “first” crocus seemed important—as if we ourselves played some kind of important role in the arrival of spring.
And there is truth in that, isn’t there? As a community of faith we are called to be people of hope—those who not only experience the Good News of wholeness and new life, but those who live so that others may also experence the fullness of life. I have not recently had opportunity to seek out the first crocus in the pasture, but when I see the snow piles fading away, I begin to look for buds on the trees and green shoots of tulips peeking through the cold ground. And I think the first of these brings that same kind of excitement and hopefulness of summer on the horizon, that I experienced with my grandpa all those springs ago. 
Truly, for us here in the Midwest, we can sing lines of the beloved hymn Hymn of Promise with gusto and meaning: ”in the cold and snow of winter, there’s a spring that waits to be”. We are Easter people! We may not always “feel” hopeful, yet we can see evidence of hope and new life in simple spring rituals. Each Easter morning we proclaim hope with shouts of Alleluia—Christ is Risen! This, our surest hope, is also our guide for living as followers of Jesus—responding in ways that offer hope and life for all persons.
Peace and blessings of Easter, 
Pastor Lou

April 2019