Spring certainly is about flowers and stick-trees coming back into leaf, but, even more, it is about the return of music. Spring becomes real the first time you’re able to sit outdoors and hear the birds sing, or listen to the song of peepers in the wetlands.
Winter is a silent season. Except for the wind or the scraping sound of snowplows and the occasional snow blower following a storm, winter is quiet. Whatever noises there are, are the result of living and getting about in a cold climate. Except for them, the outdoors is still. The winter birds don’t sing; they come to our feeders, silently, saving their energy to survive in the cold. The moans of the winter wind are like the fitful breathing of a sleeping creation, but these breaths are not songs, but icy blasts against which we insulate ourselves as best we can, if we have to go out in them.
Spring’s bird-music is simple music, joyful, thanks-giving sounds inspired by God’s enjoyment of all He created and affirmed as good. To listen to these songs is to be drawn anew into God’s world, its goodness, and into the goodness of its Creator. It serves to connect us with the One who never leaves us without hope, and who, yearly, breaks the silence of winter with spring bird-song.
Once you start paying attention to the bird-songs, it changes you. Instead of bundling up against the cold and trying to get back in where it’s warm as fast as you can, you linger outdoors, listening, as though trying to understand praises and thanksgivings spoken in other tongues. You may not understand the songs, but they touch you with a joy the source of which your rationality can’t quite pin down.
Although Easter coincides with the Jewish Passover for Divine reasons, it is also significant that it takes place in spring, for just as winter silence gives way to spring music, so too does an old life lived in God’s silence give way to a new life lived in God’s music.
Easter is listening to and becoming part of God’s eternal music. With the resurrection of our Lord Jesus, we are offered ears to hear what we’ve never heard before, a new life in Christ where every member is a part of an elaborate harmony of an eternal song. We hear about the music in the proclamation that Jesus has risen from the dead, and we become part of it when we believe the message and join in the song.
Unlike the bird-song of spring, the music of the risen Jesus is music that is ours to sing as well; we are not just listeners, but part of the chorus.