Opening our hearts to the springtime of the spirit

Photo: Peter Kolejak
Published May 1, 2023
Now the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain to which Jesus had directed them. When they saw him, they worshiped him; but some doubted. And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything that I have commanded you. And remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”
-Matthew 28:16-20

April and May have for me always been a time to look ahead to the strong signs of spring—a door to change, renewal and new life. The snows are melting, the first green is starting to appear, the birds are singing louder and life around us is revealed.

As Christians in Eastertide, we celebrate, give thanks and seek the face of our Lord. We rejoice and wonder in the Christian season of change, renewal and new life. All that we have missed and lamented over Lent is returned and the church stands renewed and alive again before us. With the Easter proclamation the church starts to again awaken and calls out to the faithful, “Come meet us again in the appointed place that we may worship the Lord!” The Lord calls us to return, to be greeted renewed and alive. As Easter people we joyfully welcome change, renewal and the life of the church. We open our hearts and prayers looking for the blessings and presence of God in our midst.

Yet, like the disciples Matthew mentions in his gospel, some of us doubt, and for some of us the long season past seems to linger stubbornly like the winter snows along the tree line, keeping us from the church. Our faith cannot be diminished, as long as we hold Christ and Christ alone in our sight. We begin to doubt when we put our faith in humanity alone. God’s blessings surround us and need to be acknowledged, but this means that we have first to awaken and open our eyes and hearts, to see and embrace the truth, promise and life of the Almighty. We have to open ourselves up to the springtime of the spirit.

In the spring the days get longer, light reaches through the stained glass washing the pews in glorious radiance, the sunlight gets warmer caressing the cheek making us smile, the breeze carries the sweet smells of new life making us take a deep breath filling us with energy. The music of the church proclaims the word and life of our Lord and makes me want to sing, “This is my Father’s world,” as life again returns to the church and land.

It is easy, too easy, to doubt and diminish the church especially when we’re focused on the humanity of the church, but as Easter people we should have our eyes, hearts and life in Him who has died, He who is risen and He who will come again.

May we together walk in the Easter life and promise of Christ our Lord.


  • Archbishop Chris Harper

    Archbishop Chris Harper is national Indigenous archbishop of the Anglican Church of Canada.

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