The Bermuda Easter Lily

Sunday, April 24, 2011
Listen to this devotional:

Luke 12:22-23,27-28 – Therefore I say to you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat; nor about the body, what you will put on. Life is more than food, and the body is more than clothing. Consider the lilies, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin; and yet I say to you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. If then God so clothes the grass, which today is in the field and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, how much more will He clothe you, O you of little faith? (NKJV)

I have always loved the beautiful lily flower for it reminds me of Easter in Bermuda. As a child, I usually had the job of dunking the lily stems in boiling hot water to stop them from wilting. Yes, that works, believe it or not, and I should know, for we banked massive lilies around St. Andrew's Church, Hamilton, Bermuda, each Easter. They had to last, what with the heat and all. I have never seen lilies set up in such massive embankments in quite the same way since. Maybe their size was in contrast to my childish height, but they took my breath away.

Have you ever wondered why the lily is so famous as the Easter flower? Try digging it up from its pot for a children's story some Easter and you will see the lesson. The buried bulb has to split open inside the dark dirt for the tiny shoot to be released and start on its way to glory. This reminds us of the grave of Jesus, who was buried in the darkness. Then the stem grows up so straight and tall, as new life does on Easter morning. The flower is perfect as a symbol for Jesus, so white and beautiful. And the flower lasts and lasts, sprung from the burial, still carrying the hurt from dunking in the hot water of human sin. Now we see the risen Lord in glorious resurrection in full bloom.

These days, I react to the lily perfume — it is such a strong and beautiful scent — but in my childhood, it didn't bother me, and no one else either, it seemed. I wonder why so many more people have trouble with perfumes these days that a church has to publicize "No perfume please!" and ban Easter lilies. I wonder if such is also the reason for our ignorance of the truth of Easter and for our lack in understanding of how much more Christ provides for all our needs — clothes, flowers, food, and family — than He does for the lilies, as He makes clear in today's Scripture. We neglect Christ's resurrection at our peril, as we do the beautiful Easter flower, for we suffer from a lack of joy and thanksgiving as a people, for many now do not freely breathe in the joy of resurrection.

For me, the Bermuda Easter lily will always speak to my wondering soul of beautiful news: Jesus is risen! And as my Saviour, I love Him and will praise His wonderful name forever.

Prayer: Thank You, Lord, for the messages in Your creation, especially for the lily that speaks to us of the beauty of Easter. We thank You for Your Son, our Lord and Saviour, who offers us real life through His resurrection. As His followers, we accept that our sin is forgiven and that we can fully live in Him. We will praise His name forever. As we look with thanksgiving on the tall, stately, beautiful Easter lily, we see the face of Christ — risen. Hallelujah! Amen.

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Iris Ford

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