Planting Joy for Easter- Something New, Week of March 4th-10th

012 (2).JPGSomething is new across the street. The spring flowers are shooting up out of the ground in my neighbor’s yard! Not much happening in my yard, I guess the people who lived here before did not plant spring bulbs.  That will change! I did notice my Japanese Maple has fat little buds on its branches, and some of the bushes do too. I love the promise in those beautiful yellow blooms, along with crocus, hyacinths, tulips…you get the picture.

God wants us to get the picture too.  When he announced the coming of his son in Isaiah, he talked about the “root of Jesse”, “a branch”, and “a shoot out of dry ground”.  His people had been wandering, confused, and degraded, because they had wandered completely away from Him. He wanted them to get the picture, and he wants us to get it too.

I don’t know about you, but by this time in the spring I’m ready for some sunshine and warm days.  We will have a few hints of the coming warmth, and I am sure we are in for a few more cold days, maybe even another snowfall in between the spring rains.  But things are going to change, and these “shoots” and “branches” give us hope.

During these four weeks, I’d like to invite you to get out your trowel with me and dig deep into the rich soil of God’s word in preparation for Easter.  Following each Easter blog, you will find some scripture passages for your meditation. If you care to dig even deeper, check out “Go Deeper” to find a closer look at these passages.  (All passages are from the English Standard Version)

If this is all your life gives you time or energy to handle, just remember this.  Things are going to change, and if you are open to the hope that God offers—joy will bloom.

There shall come forth a shoot from the stump of Jesse,
and a branch from his roots shall bear fruit.
And the Spirit of the LORD shall rest upon him,
the Spirit of wisdom and understanding,
the Spirit of counsel and might,
the Spirit of knowledge and the fear of the LORD.  Isaiah 11:1-2

In that day the root of Jesse, who shall stand as a signal for the peoples—of him shall the nations inquire, and his resting place shall be glorious.  Isaiah 11:10

For he grew up before him like a young plant,
and like a root out of dry ground;
he had no form or majesty that we should look at him,
and no beauty that we should desire him.  Isaiah 53:2

For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received: that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures,… 1 Corinthians 15: 3

May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope.  Romans 15:13