Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me will live, even though they die; and whoever lives by believing in me will never die. Do you believe this?” – John 11:25-26
Today is Shrove Tuesday. Or, more importantly when I was a child growing up in England, Pancake Day. Then, living on the Gulf Coast of Florida for so many years, Rebekah and I also learned to call today Fat Tuesday.
Regardless of the name, this signals the last day before Lent gets under way via tomorrow’s Ash Wednesday observances, kicking off the forty days (plus Sundays) of Lent.
I’d like to personally invite you to take this journey with me by reading Reaching Toward Easter. The book (published by Upper Room Books) is still in print and offers 49 short devotions that can be read either one day at a time or at your own pace.
Signs of New Life:
I often talk about how much I enjoy the winter here in North Carolina. It’s cold enough to be refreshing but without the brutal arctic blasts of the north and the midwest. The bare trees and denuded landscapes own a stark beauty, and this time of the year offers a balanced contribution to the seasonal rhythms that I missed so much living in Florida.
Additionally, the kind of cold we’re experiencing this week makes the tentative pushing through of the early blossoms that much more wonderful. “It’s almost springtime,” they seem to be saying, “watch closely! We’re going to give it our best shot. Just you wait and see!”
So I walked through the garden with my Nikon and captured a few images of the insistent flowers anxious to welcome the warmth that is just around the corner.
There is a sense of beauty and promise at the very beginning of spring that is mirrored in the journey we take through Lent. Everything that goes into the ground is born again, transformed, resurrected, restored, regenerated, imbued with new life.
This is our spiritual springtime. At least it can be.
Peace, light, grace, and promise – DEREK
Derek has published seven books in the past decade (you can find them at https://www.amazon.com/Derek-Maul/e/B001JS9WC4), and there’s always something new in the works.
Before becoming a full-time writer, Derek taught public school in Florida for eighteen years, including cutting-edge work with autistic children. He holds bachelor’s degrees in psychology and education from Stetson University and the University of West Florida.
Derek is active in teaching at his church: adult Sunday school, and a men’s Bible study/spiritual formation group. He enjoys the outdoors, traveling, photography, reading, cooking, playing guitar, and golf.