Each Easter Sunday, as dawn brightens the sky, the drape of black placed across our church-yard cross on Good Friday is taken away. In its place, a drape of flowing white appears as a symbol of Christ’s resurrection, while another cross, specially prepared for decorating, is erected nearby.
One-by-one, family-by-family we gather for sunrise service, and the auxiliary cross is transformed into a glorious symbol of new life with flowers from gardens around town. Gardens that is—except mine.
The azaleas rarely cooperate in time with worthy blooms, the camellias have gone by, and the only color to be seen is the yellow of dandelions teasing me from the lawn.
Armed with a pair of garden shears and determined to find something for the Easter cross, I made a final search of the yard that ended near a holly bush. Accepting defeat I headed toward the house as forlorn as the Little Drummer Boy, with no gift fit to lay before The King.
Lamenting the lack of a drum, I began dressing for service when the memory of a Christmas message bubbled to the surface of my thoughts. It was a sermon given by the famous southern Bible teacher, Dr. J. Vernon McGee, titled The Cross Is God’s Christmas Tree based on 1 Peter 2:24. “Who Himself bore our sins in His own body on the tree, that we, having died to sins, might live for righteousness—by whose stripes you were healed.”
With a quick zip of my dress, I grabbed the garden sheers and hurried back across the yard. I normally thought of the bright red berries nestled among the prickly holly leaves as lovely Christmas greens but now viewed them as something altogether different.
Mixed with the gay profusion of flowers proclaiming Easter’s promise of new and eternal life in our risen Lord, the crimson holly berries would be a reminder of the price Christ paid for that promised gift through the shedding of His blood upon the cross of as the once and for all perfect sacrifice for sin. I carefully snipped several clusters of the ruby jewels and joyfully hurried to church with a basket filled with Easter berries.
What flowers of spring remind you of Jesus at Eastertime? Whatever they may be, dogwood blooms, white lilies, or some other flower, I pray they will remind you of God’s great love for you and wish you a happy and memorable Easter celebration.