Back in late October, I began the task of
preparing my garden for a long winter’s nap.
The first hard frost came October 25th, when the temperature dropped
sharply below freezing. Suddenly all the
color was gone from my zinnias, marigolds, coleus, and cone flowers. With gloves
on, I easily uprooted their
brittle bodies and made space for planting daffodils and crocus. Holding in
their essence the DNA for
incarnation, varieties that last bloomed in Holland will announce the Resurrection
half a world away: Jeffre Jumbos,
February Golds, Scarlet Gem Tazettas, Bell Songs, Pink Narcissus and Jet Fires,
each flower a miracle and an idiom for life everlasting!
became what we are
He might make us what He is.
bishop of Alexandria
during the 4th century
“Suppose this. Suppose
the desolations that our generation
has witnessed had happened in a world where Jesus had never set foot; suppose
the rocket bomb had never been antedated by the star of Bethlehem; suppose
there had been a Hiroshima but no Galilee, an iron curtain but no veil rent in
twain from top to bottom -- we might well at this moment have been plunged in
pessimism and despair. Yes, indeed. But
suppose this. Suppose your sins and mine
were to stand accusing us at the bar of conscience, and we could not – in John
Newton’s words – ‘face that fierce accuser and tell him Christ had died’; suppose
there were no crucified Lamb of God taking our sin upon Himself and crying
‘Father, forgive them’; suppose every mistake were irreparable and there was no
message of a new beginning. But now!
again, suppose that on the day when you lost a dear one, and had to follow the
slow procession to the grave, you had never heard of the Easter garden and the
shattering of the midnight by the light from an empty tomb, and the communion
of saints and the swallowing up of death in victory - how desolate the world,
how inconsolable your grief! Yes,
indeed. But now! Something has
happened, says Paul. Something that changes the face of the world
for ever, and makes it wonderful to be alive! This means that now, this very
moment, we can be living a new quality of life, with the dimension of eternity
in it. For we belong, not to the old
hopeless treadmill of man’s irreparable pilgrimage towards disillusion-ment,
but to a new exciting era, the era God launched into history when He gave us Christ.
Once sorrow, sin, corruption, death had the
last word with the hopes of humanity.
But now! Now above the flood-line
stands the Rock of Ages, the mightiest of all the mighty acts of God.” James
S. Stewart in a sermon, Life in a New Dimension.