Thank you for being one of our most loyal readers. Please consider supporting community journalism by subscribing.
As I looked at the bare altar at the front of our church last Sunday, I remembered the saying that we don’t appreciate something until it’s gone.
No beautiful flower arrangement graced the table. No lilies, no roses, no mums, no greenery, no nothing. I thought about how much I had enjoyed seeing the arrangements each week. Now none was there. How sad.
Yet, the bare altar was intentional, not an oversight because someone had not signed up to provide the flowers. The bare altar was a part of our Lenten season, when our church is called upon to remember the sacrifice and loss associated with the days before Easter, when we were asked to give up something. (I’d finally decided on French fries.)
The pastor preached a sermon called “Don’t Worry.” One of his scriptures was Matthew 7:28-29: “So, why do you worry about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin; and yet I say to you that Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these.”
How true. But let’s back up to the first part of that thought: Consider the lilies.
The lily is the most popular Easter flower.
In fact, the white lily has been come to be called the Easter lily. Its white color has long symbolized the purity, hope and the new life of spring. Some Christians have even called it “the white-robed apostle of hope.”
Lilies are mentioned more than this one time in the Bible. Jesus or the church as a whole has even been referred to as “the lily of the valley.” It’s said the tears of remorse that Eve shed as she and Adam left the Garden of Eden turned into lilies.
It’s said that the sweat and tears that fell to the ground below the crucified Jesus turned into lilies, too.
Many churches place lilies on the altar table on Easter morning. So, consider the lilies — and all the flowers of spring. Aren’t they beautiful reminders of God’s love?
Donna Crowe is a minister’s wife.