One of the positive things about Lent is that sometime during it we begin to look forward to summer. I remember preaching once about the seasons of Advent and Lent and their relation to the days getting shorter and longer - Lent being the period when the days lengthen.
After such a long cold winter, signs of spring are particularly welcome this year, and having almost a week of sunshine is just wonderful. I think more people than ever suffered from S.A.D this winter, as snow turned to slush, slush turned to ice, ice turned to dampness, dampness turned to snow...and the cycle began again. I don't think I can ever remember a winter so cold and icy. So before we even begin to think of celebrating Easter things are starting to get more positive - smiles are returning to people's faces as the crocus blooms, and winter boots and fleeces are finally abandoned for another year.
Somehow it's easier to practice the presence of God when the sun shines, freed from the doom and gloom of a miserable winter. Yet, I am reminded of all those who, through no fault of their own, live with doom and gloom each day - the homeless, jobless, the refugee and hostage, the abused, the victims of war and violence, the voiceless and unloved. I pray that a different Son will shine on their lives, giving them hope in the darkness. In the same way that we allow the sunlight to transform our despondency, may the light of Christ expose some of the injustice around and bring transformation in other ways.