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Lessons in New Life

And returning from the tomb, they told all this to the eleven and to all the rest. - Luke 24:9 (NRSV)
Every year thousands of sandhill cranes and snow geese winter at Bosque del Apache in central New Mexico. Every spring something stirs them to migrate north. Like journey of the women and disciples to the empty tomb, the birds’ spring flight can teach us about resurrection.
Stirred to new life. Something moves the cranes and geese to flight. Something stirred within the women that morning to get up and make their way to the tomb. What new life yearns to stir within you?
Calling others to the journey. As dawn breaks, one or two birds wake up and call to the others. The women who found the tomb empty became heralds of good news to the disciples. Who or what wakes you to new life?
Shedding the past. Old, ragged feathers create wind drag, so a bird must use more energy in flight. Before their journey home, the cranes and geese molt, shedding old feathers to make room for new plumage. Both the women and disciples had to let go of the past to be open to God’s new life. What do you need to shed to make room for resurrection?
Taking the journey together. The birds’ migration home is long, uncertain, and often dangerous. No one bird can make it solo. According to Luke, the women didn’t go to the tomb alone. Whether geese or disciples, we need one another to stay committed to the journey of new life. It’s why we gather for worship, song, and prayer—not only on Easter but the other 51 Sundays of the year, too.
Creator God, thank you for snow geese, sandhill cranes, and other heralds of your resurrection power. Amen.
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