1 Peter 1:3-4 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! By his great mercy he has given us a new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, and into an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you,

There is an old joke, April Showers bring May flowers, what do Mayflowers bring? It seems that everyone likes spring – sure we may get wind and rain – but after its done, you can smell new life – and after a bleak winter, signs of new life are things that gladden many hearts. In fact, it may seem that Easter and Spring go together – as both are about new life – but there is a difference – for while spring may bring hope of new life – spring kind of gets worn out over time. Here’s what I mean, the hope which we get each year as spring comes, is tempered by each years experience – and usually each year w become a little less hopeful and a little less optimistic. Its not that there is no hope, but there does get to be a little less spring in spring as they years pass by. How can you tell? Well, every once in awhile you run across someone who despite all the signs of spring – they remain if not downright cynical, there sure are few signs of hope.

For example, you may remember a young hopeful farmer, who in the deep of winter, spent his spare time working on the machinery so that he could be the first in the field when spring came. As the years passed, the machinery waited longer and longer, it was always ready in time – but it was no longer ready early – with the passing of the years there was a loss of enthusiasm, there was hope, but each year a little less. Now this would not be a problem if every year was a good year. But sometimes things are not good.

This seems to be a year when things are not so good – corn prices are down, bean prices are down, hog prices are down, cattle prices are down – and costs continue to rise. Many are wondering how to make ends meet – or where to find help should the unexpected arise – where can they find hope? They turn to the Lord, -"My help comes from the Lord, who made heaven and earth."

Now while this is of some comfort, that go sends rain on the wicked and on the righteous, and he gives daily bread to all people – we see things that cause us to question just how well God provides – the pictures of the refugees in the Balkans is not one of hope. And then we see our sins, and our conscience accuses us, saying- you don’t deserve any better.

And that is why we need a hope that is stronger and more enduring than spring – we need an Easter hope. Why an Easter hope? Because in Easter, Jesus conquered sin, death and the devil and give us the victory – Jesus rescues us from all danger, trouble and evil. Jesus doesn’t just renew our old hope – he gives us a new life – we are reborn – and we are given a new and everlasting hope.

Do you know what it means to be reborn? It means we have no years of remembering the evil we have seen. No one is born cynical, but it happens year by year, as hope is chipped away until none is left – but that is gone – because we are a new creation. It is gone because we have seen one who has conquered all – who has invited us to come to him – who promises rest and peace – and not only promises, but delivers – he keeps his promises – and the resurrection is a sign to us that the promise is true, the hope is real, and it is for us.

But it is more than a new hope, more than the resurrection – it is an inheritance imperishable. While there is hope for this life, there is a greater hope of life everlasting. All this is ours, by the mercy of God.

Which brings us back to our riddle – Mayflowers, of course bring pilgrims – this is important because we today are also still pilgrims – we are on a journey to our heavenly home – Jesus is with us as we travel – we gather in the church, our ship – to encourage one another on the journey – and it is such a good ship – we can invite others –so that they too may join us in the journey and share with us the greatest of all hopes – the everlasting hope of Easter.