Cold winter has passed. The song of the lark sounds joyfully through the sunlit land. Loving warmth holds promise of fruit, blooming trees, budding vines, the grass and trees turning green again.
During the long winter of God’s wrath no fruit of grace sprang from the frozen ground. All men lay in sin. But with the coming of springtime warmth the sweet voice of the lark (Gabriel) announced to Mary that she would have a Son.
From heaven’s fountain the sun of grace, Christ, arose to shine. He stilled his Father’s wrath. On the cross he died and grace broke out to end the winter’s cold.
Christ is the end of the law. The one that believes in him receives his pleasant gifts.
Fruitful summer comes through him, and good works spring from grace and love at work within his heart.
Go out now into the vineyard, you workers of the Lord! Tear out the thorns. Roll the logs and stones out of the way. Smooth out the humps, fill the low spots, prune the branches, dig to the roots to see what lives and what does not. Clean up and burn what is dead, work zealously and faithfully! Be true!
Those workers, ready to meet him when he comes, are the ones that call everyone to repent. The ones that tell all people, in this time of grace, what God wants of us.
God wants us to leave off sinning, to pull the thistles and weeds from our hearts, and to clean out what may have accumulated there during the long winter of our unbelief, before we knew Christ. He wants us to spare no effort in doing this work within ourselves.
No matter how unskilled he is, the one that puts himself to the work with all his heart, discovers how to do it well, with God’s help, and his labour bears much fruit. He no longer sows to the flesh but begins to reap of the Spirit everlasting fruit.
Patience, hope, love, faithfulness, all manner of fruits in the summer of grace! Lord, help us to good works in Christ!
anonymous Anabaptist writer, 16’th century, Europe