Song of Solomon 2:1 – [She said] I am only a little rose or autumn crocus of the plain of Sharon, or a [humble] lily of the valley [that grows in deep and difficult places]. (AMP)
My parents were married during the hungry thirties, when a teapot was thought to be an acceptable wedding gift. During their first years together, my mother gave birth to two little girls — my sister first, then me. Although we entered into a world of austerity, we became part of a household of method and order, carefully wrapped in expensive paper and ribbons of love. My father dearly loved my mother, and because of this relationship, he wanted to bring beauty into my mother's austere world. After his gruelling 55-hour work week and many family chores, he carefully tended a tired patch of soil and made a garden. In the centre of this garden was one small rose tree. One of the most significant aspects of this tree was that the first rosebud always opened in the cool crisp air of Christmas Day and filled the garden with fragrance.
During my growing up years, my parents often gave me a small, inexpensive bottle of perfume as a Christmas present. My choice gift was readily known to them, and was due to the influence of that scrubby little rose tree. The perfume, though, was never a match for those fallen rose petals.
I had been a Christian for many years before I learned the wonderful title given to Jesus in the Old Testament as the "Rose of Sharon". How readily I could associate this title with the Saviour. Whether the "Rose of Sharon" is the same botanical species as we know it in the western world or not, I equated that little rose tree with the Saviour. His life has brought a fragrance and beauty into many an unlovely heart, and has given its owner a beauty which can only be described as miraculous.
Prayer: – Dear heavenly Father, we thank You for this wonderful season of the year when we remember especially Your greatest gift to the world — Your Son — given to the world, so freely, with no exception as to colour or race, the only requirement being that the receiver must acknowledge a personal new birth. May there be many who will have the desire and the courage to start a new life in Christ Jesus in this year of our Lord 2008. We pray in the name of Your Son and our Saviour, Christ Jesus. Amen.