Bring the Green, Hold the Gold

In one of J.D. Walt’s Lenten devotionals in his new book “This Is How We Know”, he shares a poem by Robert Frost:

“Nothing Gold Can Stay”.

Nature’s first green is gold,
Her hardest hue to hold.
Her early leaf’s a flower;
But only so an hour.
Then leaf subsides to leaf.
So Eden sank to grief,
So dawn goes down to day,
Nothing gold can stay.


I have long delighted in the diverse colors of spring, but mostly in the breathtaking array of greens. But when I read this poem, I realized how many plants are putting forth new leaves that are gold color at first. Here are a few of them that I captured this morning. I have been so busy, it seems, admiring the greens that I overlooked those yellows and golds that are just a brief few days’ stage before the greening emerges.

As J.D. notes, in the early spring everything is new again, but it never stays that way for long. The brilliant but tiny yellows and golds quickly burst into the greens of spring. It’s a bit like reminding us of the brilliance of the ending stage of the leaves’ cycle just a few months ago, bringing forward the closing colors of fall before transforming the landscape back into the vibrant greens of spring. It reminds us that things are never entirely new, but are a continuation of a cycle that God put into place at creation and that God continues to renew year after year for our well-being and joy.

J.D. points out the correlation of this old/new continuity in talking about the old/new covenant of God with man. 1 John 2:7 “ I am not writing you a new command but an old command that you have had from the beginning. The old command is the message you have heard. Yet I am writing you a new command, which is true in Him and in you, because the darkness is passing away and the true light is already shining.

Leviticus 18:19: “Do not seek revenge or bear a grudge against anyone among your people, but love your neighbor as yourself. I am the Lord.”

1 John 2:9-11: “Whoever says he is in the light and hates his brother is still in darkness. Whoever loves his brother abides in the light and in him there is no cause for stumbling.”

Enjoy the green, life-giving abundant new life in Christ that is yours, but do not miss the gold…..We are to love and sacrifice for one another.