Early in April

An atheist complained to a Christian friend: “Christians have their holidays such as Christmas and Easter, Jews have their holidays such as Passover and Yom Kippur, and Muslims have their holidays. Every religion has its holiday, but atheists don’t have any. It’s discrimination!”
The Christian replied: “But atheists do have a holiday.”
“They do?” cried the atheist. “When is it?”
“Well, …” the Christian answered.
Early in April the bulbs begin to burst into color around here. I know that autumn seems like a long time from spring, but to enjoy a mass of buttery daffodils, or grape blue hyacinth, you need to plant them in the fall. Consider the lowly bulb. It looks like an onion, its skin dry and peeling. It’s nature’s way to help a plant survive hard times. Bulbs in Africa’s Namaqua desert wait for years for the rain. When the soft showers fall on the desert sands, they burst into the pastel colors of the “African Daisy.” The crocus bulb is designed to rest in the bitter northern winters, buried in the icy crush of snow, before becoming the first flower to bloom in the spring, usually some time before April.
Bulbs are a miracle. Within that homely brown ball is the potential for a show that no artist could duplicate, no computer create, no designer imagine. But in April …
I feel sorry for atheists. An atheist can’t find God for the same reason that a thief can’t find a policeman. When he feels grateful, who does he thank? And when he enjoyed a great meal, does he believe there is no cook?
And when the lowly bulb transforms the starkest countryside, does he see a murky pool with single cell creatures?
“The fool says in his heart, ‘There is no God'” (Psalm 53:1).
By the way, do you know when the atheist’s holiday is? It’s in early April. Very early in April!

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Stan Mitchell

Stan has preached since 1976, in Zimbabwe, California, Texas and Tennessee. He serves as preacher for the Red Walnut Church of Christ in Bath Springs, TN. He is currently Professor of Bible at Freed-Hardeman University. He is married to the former Marjorie McCarthy, and has one daughter, Tracy Watts. He is the author of four books: The Wise Get Wiser, the Foolish More Foolish: The Book of Proverbs, Give the Winds a Mighty Voice: Our Worship in Song, and Equipping the Saints for Ministry. He has recently published another book, "Will Our Faith Have Children: Developing Leadership in the Church for the Next Generation.

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