Listen to this devotional:
Hosea 14:4-6 – I will heal their waywardness and love them freely, for my anger has turned away from them. I will be like the dew to Israel; he will blossom like a lily. Like a cedar of Lebanon he will send down his roots; his young shoots will grow. His splendour will be like an olive tree, his fragrance like a cedar of Lebanon. (NIV)
Have you ever seen a whole field of Easter lilies? It is a really beautiful sight! As a child growing up in Bermuda, I have wandered around fields of Easter lilies. The churches at Easter are simply full of them. But sadly, the lilies here alight in our homes in a pot. It pains me to see a lily in an enclosure, but still I love the lilies even though they make me sneeze. I have even taken such a potted lily into church for the children's story! What else can we do here in Canada?
As we enjoy our Easter lilies this year, let us remember that the lily represents Easter to us for a good reason: in itself, the lily tells the story of Easter. The pot filled with earth stands for this earthly life, into which Jesus came and took on human form. The bulb is buried in the earth as Jesus was after His death — buried in that tomb. The bulb finally splits to allow the new growth, just as the tomb was split open that Easter morning. This also speaks to us of the splitting of our pride, allowing Jesus in.
Now, look at the growth: so straight, so tall. Jesus' resurrected body causes us to look upward, "See my hands and my feet", he said (Luke 24:39 RSV). Hosea reminded the Israelites, lost in a strange land, that they will blossom again like a lily. So we, as followers of Jesus today, also send down our roots with faith that in Him we also will blossom in due time.
The flower is beautiful. But are we also beautiful, pure, and lovely? Do our lives reflect Jesus' purity? Then what of the fragrance, that which makes me sneeze now. How do we attract others, introducing them to Jesus? Do human "bees" gain from us the pollen of a righteous life? Do our daily lives reflect the kind of life that the spirit of the risen Christ would develop in us? As our friends and neighbours pick their lily and set it in a special corner in the living room, will they see the risen Christ through our friendship? How do we reflect His splendour?
The lily is a majestic flower, pointing to an amazing event — Jesus' resurrection. Fed by that marvellous resurrection power, may we too stand tall and proclaim that Jesus is alive and living in us. O what a beautiful morning — as the lily of our lives witnesses to the risen Christ today!
Prayer: Lord Jesus, may our lives reflect Your risen power, as does the lily. May our roots go deep into You, and may we show Your glory for everyone who meets us this day. Lord, You created us, but now we have these blemishes that cause others to sneeze. We ask for forgiveness and so kneel here, fragrant with Your love, so that others may know You are in us, our wonderful risen Lord. In Jesus' name, we pray. Amen.