May flowers (it’s a verb)! May bursts on the scene with an abundance of color. The variety of flowers popping up, the trees and flowering shrubs, the colorful clothes and regalia of graduations, and the living-color feeling that imbues your senses during the first walk in shorts on a sunny afternoon, the first outdoor ice cream of the year, or the first night sleeping with open windows.
May flowers and once again the season screams fertility, nature proclaims its power to generate and regenerate bloom after bloom. This is the time of year when possibilities are plentiful: the season of Eastertide, from Easter Sunday to Pentetcost.
Unlike the birth of Jesus, which scholars agree did not occur in December, his arrest, torture and execution, which we remember during Holy Week, and his resurrection, which we celebrate on Easter, most definitely happened in the spring. Scripture refers to Jesus and his disciples coming to Jerusalem for the Passover, which is always in the spring, and Passover and Holy Week often overlap as they do this year.
Many Christians who are long time “free church” members (traditions such as the New England congregationalists, baptists, and several others) do not really care for Ash Wednesday. Too high church and all. Too much against the grain of the gospel lesson recommended for that day: “Beware of practicing your piety before others in order to be seen by them.” Matt. 6:1.