Last year, I wrote an essay for the print edition of Ad Fontes on, as it were (and to paraphrase Tertullian), “creation naturally Christian,” suggesting a theology and an eschatology that is built into the season of spring, the season of Cross and Resurrection.
In the Christian apologetic dialogue Octavius (probably from the third century), Minucius Felix has the title character make a similar point. He says:
Notice, also, how all nature hints at a future resurrection for our consolation. The sun sets and rises again; the stars sink below the horizon and return; the flowers die and come to life again; the shrubs spend themselves and then put forth buds; seeds must decompose in order to sprout forth new life. Thus, the body in the grave is like the tree in winter, which conceals its live sap under an apparent dryness. Why do you urge that in the depths of winter it should revive and return to life? We must also wait for the spring of the body.Octavius 34, trans. Rudolph Arbesmann