The Vernal Equinox.
Vernal Equinox comes from the latin words for spring (ver), equal (aequi) and night (nox). It occurs in the month of March—usually around the 20th and 21st—when the tilt of the Earth’s rotational axis reaches a particular position as the Earth circles the sun. From our perspective, it looks as though the sun makes a trek from the southern sky to the northern sky, and at the equator on this day, the sun is directly overhead at noon and gives equal twelve hours of day and night.
The arrival of Spring typically falls sometime within the period of Lent (since the earliest date that Resurrection Sunday/Easter can fall is March 22, it may actually mark the end of the Lenten Season—although this is a rare occurrence).
Lent is a solemn religious observance in the Christian liturgical calendar that commemorates the 40 days Jesus spent fasting in the desert before beginning his public ministry. It marks the period of days starting on Ash Wednesday and leading up to Resurrection Sunday/Easter.
Lent comes from an old English word meaning lengthen, indicating the time of year when the days are becoming longer.
Spring. Lent. A time to cultivate.
For those of us in the northern hemisphere, it is a time to cultivate, to plant, and often the time of spring rains (Deuteronomy 11:14, Hosea 6:3, James 5:7).
There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens …a time to plant… Ecclesiastes 3:1-2
With the passing of what we hope is our last freeze here in Central Texas, my husband and will tackle our yard: setting up and testing our sprinklers, raking fallen leaves from our live oaks, persimmons, and cedar elms, cutting back and mulching the butterfly garden, bringing our potted plants out to their warm season locations, and planting vegetables in our raised bed garden.
As I dig into the rich dirt and settle the tender plants into their new home, I can’t help but think about the virtues—the character qualities—that our Heavenly Father wants to cultivate in our hearts. Things like:
- a Heart of Listening – (Proverbs 19:27)
- a Heart of Worship – (Psalm 95:6)
- a Heart of Thanksgiving – (Psalm 116:17)
- a Heart of Faithfulness – (Psalm 36:5)
- a Heart of Wisdom – (James 1:5)
- a Heart of Repentance – (Psalm 51:17)
- a Heart of Forgiveness – (Matthew 6:14)
Over the next seven weeks, throughout Lent, Resurrection Sunday, and beyond, we will dig a bit deeper into these seven virtues and what it might mean to allow the Holy Spirit to cultivate them in our hearts.
Grace and Peace