Sunday, April 01, 2012

Sunday Afternoon Tea

Dogwood blooms in a previous year

The week the dogwood blooms is one of my favorite experiences of the year.  There is something magical (Narnia magic, of course) about these blooms, especially at twilight.  For what is pretty during the day becomes incandescent as the sun is setting below the horizon. 

I noticed them for the first time yesterday evening, a surprisingly early event in a year of unusual warmth... just the beginning bloom of tiny buds but soon to look like the picture above.

The blooming of the dogwood along with the other delights of early spring; daffodils, and tulips and the occasional chipmunk scurrying across my deck, all come together to remind me of a favorite verse from Scripture...

The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases;
his mercies never come to an end;
they are new every morning;
great is your faithfulness.
Lamentations 3:22-23

Spring brings with it the message of Resurrection... that of new birth... He desires His creation to continue for another cycle of birth and life and death.  He has not given up on us as a people nor has He tired of the individual... you and me... as we struggle along in life trying to follow His directions but daily coming short of His perfection.

"Be ye Holy as I am Holy," He said... full well knowing we can never be holy while we live in a fallen world and in a body of flesh.  We start out each day desiring to live as He wants us to live and to treat others as He would desire.

But normally (at least for me) not long after my second cup of coffee, I have already said a snarky word to my husband or thought something unkind about another.  With the stomping of my feet and the pouting of a lip and perhaps even a word spoken... I remind Him I doubt He has given me enough.

Don't talk to me about holy... I'm having a struggle just having faith for the day some mornings... and that is after my coffee.  You wouldn't want to be in the same room before I've slowly sipped my morning nectar.

But that is what Spring and Resurrection is all about.  God came to earth to take back what was given away at Eden.  The amazing C. S. Lewis gives us an indication of what Christ did on the cross in this scene from The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe...

If the Witch knew the true meaning of sacrifice, she might have interpreted the deep magic differently. That when a willing victim who has committed no treachery, is killed in a traitor's stead, the stone table will crack, and even death itself would turn backwards.

He came to this fallen planet... His own creation... full well knowing He was born to die... so that we may live.  Doesn't it make you wonder what Someday will be like?  What is it about you and me and living with Him in Eternity that would cause a God to become one of His creations... to suffer for you and me... to die for you and me... to live again so we may live?

I think He give us just the smallest of ideas during this season as new life appears each day.  He hasn't given up on us and... as with the dogwood blossoms... so often He appears the most incandescent when our life is cloudy and the light appears to be setting below the horizon.  Somehow we hear Him better in the shadows.

This week I will remember as I plant seeds and prepare soil and prune bushes and pull even more weeds and run out to the garden to see how the herbs have grown overnight... all are just a reminder that He has not given up on the world... or me.


Linda Chapman said...

Wonderful post this morning. My husband I started the age old classic 'In His Steps' as our out loud reading book today.
Both your post and book are very thought provoking.

Kristi in the Western Reserve said...

A beautiful verse and beautiful ideas. Thank you, Brenda.

Linda said...

In regards to the kale the other recipe that I liked was a fritatta or just scrambled eggs with the kale and garlic. The trick is to add a sausage I use liqueca that helps to cover up the kale taste. So I often have a small amount of kale in my eggs for breakfast now.

Anonymous said...

One thing I love about the Dogwood is that they seem to ALWAYS bloom at Easter no matter what - if Easter is early or later in Spring it always seems to happen that way. God is miraculous like that, isn't He?


Mrs.Rabe said...

So much good stuff in this Brenda.

We are watching the Truth Project for Sunday School these was about evil and why do I do the things I don't want to do....thank God for his fresh mercies every morning....


Vee said...

You snarky? Now I'm just trying to bend my head around that one for a bit.

Wonderful thoughts as we begin holy week.

Anonymous said...

This is a really beautiful post. It's what I needed to think about today. Thank you. Have a joyful Easter and a wonderful spring.

Cute new header!


Heather said...

The dogwood here are blooming right along with the lilacs - so pretty! Last night we prepared the soil for a new row of raspberry plants and transplanted the strawberries to better soil. This week as I cook and clean and get ready for company I am praying that the Lord prepare my heart to celebrate the resurrection - it needs some weeding and softening!

Anonymous said...

Sometimes I think you have been given the gift of reading my mind and knowing exactly what it is that I am struggling with. Great words...He has not given up on me.
Thank you.