Spring in Your Step
Grass is growing, birds are chirping, noses are running—it can only mean one thing, spring is here. We call it spring because it’s the season when plants leap out of the ground. They spring out of nowhere, it seems.
It’s the beginning of something new. After a long winter, we anticipate spring and all that it brings (except maybe the allergies). After a season of darkness, spring brings light. After a season of cold, spring brings some warmth. After a season of grey, spring brings color. It creates joy within us and perhaps even puts a little spring into our step.
In a sense, the book of Isaiah is about the spring season. Because of their failure to keep their covenant with God, the Israelite people will endure a long season of darkness in captivity. But Isaiah has gospel for them (our word gospel comes out of the book of Isaiah). Isaiah has good news. The good news is that restoration is coming. Just as God led the people out of Egyptian captivity, God will once again free the people. In part, this occurs with the rebuilding of Jerusalem. But ultimately, freedom will be found through the Suffering Servant, the one who frees us from the captivity of sin. The light has shone. Spring is here.
Isaiah mentions many events that will accompany the dawning of this new era. One of these is that the lame will leap. “Then the eyes of the blind shall be opened, and the ears of the deaf unstopped; then shall the lame man leap like a deer, and the tongue of the mute sing for joy. For waters break forth in the wilderness, and streams in the desert” (Isaiah 35:5-6).
In Acts 3, Peter and John see a man who has been lame from birth. Peter tells him, in the name of Jesus Christ, to rise up and walk (Acts 3:6). We then read, “And leaping up, he stood and began to walk, and entered the temple with them, walking and leaping and praising God” (Acts 3:8). This man has some spring in his step. To use the language of Isaiah, the lame are leaping. He has new life. Notice that Peter tells him to “rise up” (Acts 3:6) and he is then “raised” (Acts 3:7). He has been raised to leap in newness of life.
In the name of Christ, we too, can be raised. “We were buried therefore with him by baptism into death, in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life” (Romans 6:4). When we reflect on this newness of life, it ought to put a little spring into our step. It ought to make us leap for joy.
If we respond this way, people will take notice. The people saw the man who used to be lame “walking and leaping and praising God” (Acts 3:8). This made them take notice. They were “filled with wonder and amazement at what had happened to him” (Acts 3:10). When we are living our lives as disciples of Jesus, people will take notice. The changes in our lives may not be quite as profound as a lame man leaping, but if we are living a new life, people will notice. In other words, the change in us will be noticeable.
Allow Christ to put a little spring into your step. Even if you can’t jump very high, you can still express joy which is noticeable to others.