I remember picking flowers one Easter Sunday after a morning worship service. I couldn’t have been more than five or six years old, because we moved from Waxahachie, Texas to Hotchkiss, Colorado when I was in the second grade.
My father was the pastor of a small Assembly of God Church in Waxahachie, and he had recently graduated from Southwestern Assemblies of God University. I don’t remember which church it was, and there are several Assembly churches in Waxahachie, the training ground of many of the denominations clergy.
Back to the flowers. The church was on the outskirts of town, and it bordered a large open field. I’m not sure the church owned the land or not, but I remember a field of wild flowers on this morning. So, like many boys would do, I decided to pick a bouquet of flowers for my mother.
The field was full of yellow dandelions, and other assorted colors of wild flowers, or what some people would call weeds. What I remember was that my mother made a big deal about how pretty the flowers I brought her were, and it seems I was immediately more popular with the other women of the church. So, what’s a kid to do? Pick more flowers for more people.
Here’s a question for you. How many of you have taken a dandelion after it has gone to seed, held it in your hand and blew the seeds off? It’s like a whole bunch of seeds paragliding to the ground. And, some of those seeds will take root and bring more dandelions into the world.
Springtime and Easter have this in common, “new life”. The church is like a garden of the Lord. And, into this garden, both you and I are planted. In the Gospel of St. John, Jesus says these words: “Unless a seed falls to the ground and dies, it cannot bear new life, but if it dies it will rise again in the shape of a new plant”. (John 12:24)
On Easter Sunday, we celebrate the resurrection of Jesus Christ, and through our baptism we are raised to new life with Him. We are part of the new seeds all connected to the community of faith, because of Easter.
The Apostle Paul sums up this truism this way: “I have been crucified with Christ, never the less I live, yet not I, but Christ lives in me”. (Galatians 3:20)
Jesus is the seed that dies, yet has risen from the dead, and so we too have died in the waters of baptism and are recognized though Jesus Christ as new plants, called to do our part to plant, nurture, water, and to protect the garden from weeds that rob the plants of their nurture and health. This is a joyful proclamation, and an encouraging word. It’s a reminder that we are part of the Christian family.
“Easter has come. Set your affections on the affections on the things above and not on the things of this old world. And, it helps do set your affections on the things above by “being filled with the spirit, speaking to yourselves in psalms, hymns and in spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your hearts to the Lord”
“Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good. His mercy endures forever”. (Psalm 118:1)