As I write this in early April, the sun is shining and, when walking the dog, I can begin to feel the warmth of the sun once again as Spring takes hold. Spring – we see new life all around filling us with joy after the cold and dark of Winter. It all makes me – and, I guess, you – very happy. And as we enter May, we look forward to the abundance of the natural world, longer days, evening activities outside, the music of wild birds and, if we are fortunate, some better weather.
As Christians, we have another word for happiness. We say that we are blessed, that is, we know that we are in receipt of God’s favour. God is love, and to know His blessing, that is, for our happiness to reside in God, is something that is not dependent on the changing season, or the weather, or any other thing that happens to us. We know that we are loved and blessed by God in good times and bad.
At Easter, we know ourselves so greatly blessed, so wonderfully happy, as we remember and celebrate Jesus’ resurrection to new life, eternal life. It is during Eastertide, which runs from Easter Sunday through to the Day of Pentecost at the beginning of June, that we celebrate each day this gift, this free and unconditional gift, that God has given to everyone.
It’s a good thing to count our blessings to remind ourselves how blessed we are. It’s a good idea to take time in Eastertide to do just that, count our blessings. And our response to our blessings is one of gratitude, being grateful for all we receive from God.
And how might we show our gratitude for God’s blessings? Well, there is the obvious way of thanking God in prayer and praise. The other is to be a blessing to others. This doesn’t have to be something big. Sometimes it might be just a smile, or an act of kindness, for example, taking time to ask how someone is and the time to listen to what they have to say. Maybe to remember a sick friend or neighbour and call on them. Sometimes a kind word is enough.
These small acts of kindness build bonds between us, they help us grow together. May we each one be a blessing to one another this Eastertide.
With God’s blessing,