Easter in Winter

2013-03-29 15.33.30We spent Easter Weekend in central Finland. On Good Friday, I left the family behind and went out skiing on a frozen lake.

We have had clear weather for the last few weeks with very cold nights and mornings and temperatures coming up just below freezing during the day. It has been a cold March, and although the spring solstice has come and gone, we are definitely still in the throes of winter for Easter.

I had been feeling a little annoyed by the lack of progress spring seems to be making. For every day that feels like a thaw, we have another frightfully cold one. But on that lake, on my own, with the sun out and adding some discernable warmth, it felt all right. No, it’s not spring yet, not really. It was -6C (21F) at the time, and would get just to the freezing point by afternoon. But the sun in the sky and the slight burn on my cheeks gives me hope. I know that spring will come. It may not come this week, and I have no sliver of grass or early flower bud as a concrete, discernible sign for my hope. But that hope is real.

The symbolism of spring and Easter is pretty straightforward: resurrection and new life and all of that. But for me, this narrow edge of a possible end of winter is a better symbol for how I feel about the Atonement in my life right now, better than the Dutch tulip gardens we usually associate with spring.

In my attempt to be like Christ, it is still winter. I feel some warmth, but the landscape is frozen and barren. And all I have is hope. And that, for now, is enough.


  1. “this narrow edge of a possible end of winter is a better symbol for how I feel about the Atonement.”

    Yes. Perfect. This is where hope really lives, where it lives at all. Thanks for this.

  2. “In my attempt to be like Christ, it is still winter.”
    Love this. Thanks for your post.

  3. It is a landscape full of potential, rather than one bursting with fully flowered vines and fruits, that best mirrors most of our souls. Thanks, Norbert.

  4. “Lord save us all from a hope tree that has lost the faculty of putting out blossoms.” Mark Twain. I’m right there with Mark Twain and you, Norbert. Thanks. I love the humility in this post.


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