Vancouver is famous for many things. One of these is our weather. Each year, about 1.5 meters of rain falls on the city. At the base of Grouse Mountain, the annual average is 2.5 meters. Environment Canada, the government weather agency, estimates that we have rain or drizzle for about 170 days each year.
But with rain comes something we all appreciate – fresh green growth. Never a day goes by that we cannot enjoy the green colour of flora, fauna, and even funga, to use the technical terms. And green means life.
Recently, I read a short devotion by a Canadian pastor. The devotional passage was Isaiah 41:17-18. These verses say:
The poor and needy search for water, but there is none; their tongues are parched with thirst. But I the Lord will answer them; I, the God of Israel, will not forsake them. I will make rivers flow on barren heights, and springs within the valleys. I will turn the desert into pools of water, and the parched ground into springs.
The devotion by this pastor tells how Jesus was buried in a borrowed tomb in a garden. It’s why on that first Easter morning, Mary mistook Jesus for the gardener. And in that garden in early Spring, the time of year when Jesus was raised from the dead, flowers started to blossom, new shoots emerged from the ground, buds appeared on trees, and all around the colour of new life - green - could be seen.
The passage in Isaiah is a promise of hope – a promise of God’s redemption. God will reverse the cry of the broken and needy. God will bring abundant blessing, turning dry, barren, and thirsty lives into lives filled with his grace, overflowing with his presence and love.
This promise is a wonderful anticipation of the resurrection. It points to the fulness and abundance that Jesus brings. Jesus said in John 11:25-26: “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.” By Christ’s resurrection, life is offered where once there was death. It’s a promise displayed in that garden on that first Easter morning. There’s green in the garden and, because of Jesus’ resurrection, there’s green in our lives. We have new life.
Today, Jesus’ promise is as true as it was 2,000 years ago and as true as the ancient prophecy of Isaiah hundreds of years before that. Take these words, this Easter week, as God’s promise to you: the Lord will answer you, he will not forsake you; he will bring life where you are barren, and where you are dry and parched, he will flood you with his love. Jesus is alive and you can know new life – the green of his resurrection in your life.
Yes, Vancouver is known for its rainfall. But today, may you and I be known for the abundant blessing of God in our lives.
視頻大意翻譯(video Chinese translation):
Grace and peace