Sun., Aug. 12, 2018
1 Corinthians 15:13 – For if there is no resurrection of the dead, then Christ must still be dead.
In the early dawn of morning, I stood at the kitchen window, filling the coffee pot with water. Light was dawning on this cloudy morning. Hues of blue and grey hung in the still partially dark landscape. It was just bright enough that I saw them.
The resurrection lilies.
Some people call them surprise lilies. Or magic lilies. I prefer resurrection lilies.
They are one of the first green plants of the spring. Thick, wide leaves that seemingly sprout up overnight and grow like a bush. They last for a couple of weeks. And then they die. As quickly as they arrived, they disappear just as hastily.
Until now. For Wisconsin, it’s early-to-mid-August when once again, almost overnight, beautiful pink flowers grace our presence. No greenery. Just flowers on long stems.
My, how beautiful you are.
When we bought our first house in 2005, I discovered resurrection lilies. The greens had sprouted in the spring. Unfamiliar with them, I asked some ladies at church about them. I was told to wait until later in the summer. Then, I would see the precious flowers.
They were spot on. And I was not disappointed.
I was pleasantly surprised when we purchased our current house and discovered the same thick, wide greens early in spring. Hubby Rick asked what these leaves were. I knew immediately that come August, we would have resurrection lilies.
Just as predicted, they arrived.
I love calling them “resurrection” lilies. Why? They remind me of how disappointed the followers of Jesus were when he died and was stuffed into a cave. Their grief had to be overwhelming. Stifling. Impossible to understand how their fearless leader went from healing people to death in such a short period of time.
He died on a Friday. Because of the Jewish Sabbath, the women did not have time to properly prepare the body for burial. They wait until Sunday morning when they could now go to the tomb and perform the appropriate Jewish rituals.
The surprise and confusion when they arrived at the tomb is impossible for us to fully grasp. Who stole the body? Where did the put it? Why?
And then, the surprise of discovering that Jesus wasn’t dead. He really was alive.
What a surprise. What a resurrection.
Just like these gorgeous lilies.
For resurrection lilies and the reminder of the story of Jesus’ resurrection, I am grateful.
Lord God – thank you for reminders in our daily, ordinary lives of the live, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Just as the resurrection lilies must “die” before their sweet, sweet flowers arrive, so did our sweet Jesus die to share the gift of eternal life with humanity. Thank you for his gift to us. Amen.
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