It is spring!
Winter days can be dull and dreary. But now the sun is back! Nature dresses itself like people for a special occasion as if the heavens would rain the colours of the rainbow down on grey ground. Our daily rhythms are beautified by the sweet melodies of the birds and everywhere echoes the promise of new life.  Adults feel rejuvenated. It is time to spring, to leave our cold and crusted cocoon behind and spread our wings, breathing in the sunshine.
The living space is getting wider. People leave their four walls and meet under the sky. It is time to come together, it is time for natural love, as Shakespeare sings in ‘As You Like It’:

It was a lover and his lass,
With a hey, and a ho, and a hey nonino,
That o’er the green cornfield did pass,
In springtime, the only pretty ring time,
When birds do sing, hey ding a ding, ding;
Sweet lovers love the spring.

Who would not love the spring? Who is not – at least deep in the heart – a sweet lover? The blossoming nature around us can make us blossom ourselves. We experience that the creation around us is not an object to exploit but that there is a deep connection.  Although there is something that distinguishes human beings from all other beings, nevertheless we are all God’s creation. Could we think of a world without animals?  God could not.  As he had created the man, he said “It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him a helper as his partner.” (Genesis 2:28) And then God formed every animal of the field and every bird of the air and brought them to the man to see what he would call them.  But there was not found a helper as his partner.  Then God created a woman so that man and woman may find their helper and partner in each other and become one flesh.

God’s genius is too imaginative to be content with just creating humans. In the myriad wonders of his creation his glorious greatness is reflected. The Bible tells us who God is, but the book of nature invites us to experience his presence – here and now. God’s heart is too big for just the millions of human beings.  All creatures are his children, and so they are all our brothers and sisters.

How could we better speak of love than comparing it with a red, red rose?  And is there a more apt expression of loyalty and faithfulness than Greyfriars Bobby? – Nature gives us depth to our emotions. But it can also serve as a teacher.  We often think of us as crown of creation and as superior to everything else.  But that is a heartless perversion of God’s call to care, abusing it selfishly as if it were a call to subject and exploit. In his Sermon on the
Mount, Jesus speaks of nature as a teacher of faith. “Why do you worry about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they neither toil nor spin, yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not clothed like one of these.  But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which is alive today and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will he not much more clothe you—you of little faith?” (Matthew 6:28-30)

Nothing handmade can be as beautiful as what God has made. All our works – even at their best – can only be poor reflections of God’s creativity.  And no work of man can be as good a teacher as God’s works.  Our schools prepare us for this life, but nature as revealed by Jesus the mediator of creation can prepare us for God’s kingdom. There is so much to discover around us in this greatest book of all time by the greatest author of all
time. So let us leave our homes and as sweet lovers immerse ourselves in God’s creation.