The fact that Easter is celebrated in the spring comes as no surprise to me. If I was God, I couldn't have planned it better myself. In fact, it is only natural that Christ comes back from the dead around the same time that the trees, that look so desolate in winter, are just beginning to shoot forth with new growth and the ground that is bare begins to bring forth new shoots! It is such a tangible symbol of the hope of resurrection.
 
Besides the fact that it’s a wonderful symbol, I simply love gardening. If truth be told, however, I’m not great at it. One of the things that took me completely by surprise was growing violets. Violets really speak to me now about how God can take our efforts and surpass all expectations. 
 
It all started the first year I moved to Regina, I was cutting the grass in my back yard, and sure enough, about be chewed up by my push mower, was a violet smiling at me. I couldn’t help myself and smiled back. I carefully dug up the roots and put it in a pot and watched it just bloom and bloom. All summer I enjoyed the beautiful flowers and this hardy little plant pushed on through till October that year.
 
I loved it so much that I collected the seeds and planted them again the next year. I thought I knew what to expect: lovely violet petals with a bright yellow interior with little dots. I couldn’t have been more mistaken! Each seed grew its own unique flower, some completely yellow some sky-blue and others such a shade of purple, words here would fail to do them justice. But each plant was so different from the others. I was amazed and delighted. We will see what this year brings!  
 
I’ve come to reflect on that experience as God’s hand at work, I thought I knew what I was doing and what I was going to get. I thought I could predict, but God does more than we can ask or imagine. So this Easter tide, I invite you to look with hope and excitement, because God isn’t doing what we expect. He is inviting us to be surprised and astounded by what his love can do!

Fr Michael Bruce
Associate Priest