We made it. Through the cold, cruel, bone-chilling winter.
Spring has finally come to the city.
Magnolias, cherry blossoms, some beautiful yellow flowers I can’t identify, are all out in bloom. Weeping willows are budding with green all over town. In a week or so, white fluffy balls of (what is that stuff?) will be bouncing all through the streets of this crazy, bustling city, and wreaking havoc on the allergy-prone.
And just as it does every year, before we know it, this one precious month of spring will be over, and the unrelenting summer heat will prevail.
The constant reminder of new life budding all around us gives us hope. We hope to see New Life, direct from its source, the Giver and Sustainer, overflowing in all its richness, blessing the people of this city.
It feels so fitting that in the northern hemisphere, Easter happens in the Spring. The word for Easter in this language literally means ‘return to life’, or ‘life restored’, which is what Spring feels like. This year, the Easter weekend was followed a week later with a local festival known as Tomb-sweeping day. This is when one’s ancestors and other dead family members are remembered. Rituals are performed, fake money is burned, food is offered, incense sticks are lit, prayers are made for those long dead. When they are commemorating death, we are commemorating Life. They do not yet know, that ‘death has been swallowed up in victory… He gives us victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.’ 1 Cor 15:54-56.
Pray that this Spring, those lost and without hope, will experience the hope that comes with New Life in Christ; that instead of the hopelessness of the grave, the story of the Empty Tomb and the Risen Lord, will bring people to the Lifegiver.
For more stories and prayer fuel for Urban China, visit OMF’s page on The Urban Billion.