One Sunday many years ago, a man holding a colorful bunch of flowers came up to me and said, “These flowers are for you, Father.” Holding another beautiful spray of flowers in his other hand he said, “And these flowers are for the church.” The flowers were not from a florist. They were homegrown and handpicked by him from his garden. For three Sundays after that, he brought flowers for me and for the church. Each time he brought the flowers, he shared stories about the healing of his body and spirit. Stories about new hope and a fresh perspective on his life. He shared how he had experienced new life through the parish. For that man, giving those flowers was an act of gratitude, hope and courage. My life continues to be touched by his gift of flowers.
Easter is the celebration of the victory of Jesus over the power of sin and physical death. At a time when as a nation and world we have been through so much illness, hardship and strife, this Easter is calling us to bring flowers to the world. Like the man who brought flowers to me and to the church, Easter is a time to bring flowers of gratitude to the world. Gratitude for the faith we have that sustains us through good times and bad. Gratitude for the many ways we have navigated a different way of living in this time of Covid 19. Gratitude for those who have brought us flowers through their presence, support, love and prayers.
This is a time to bring flowers of hope to the world. We do this because we believe that through the power of God in Jesus we can build a better world. Flowers of hope knowing that the number of people who are like the man who brought me flowers far surpasses the number of those who cause harm.
These days invite us to bring flowers of courage to the world. It probably took some courage for that man to bring flowers to another man. Now is the time to cast aside our hesitations, inhibitions and fears. It is a moment to be clear with each other that we are out there in the middle of it all knowing, that with the grace of God, our presence makes a difference. A time to be out there with words of kindness, forgiveness and affirmation.
On this Easter, to whom might we bring flowers of gratitude, hope and courage? In celebration of our resurrected Lord, there are many people, indeed a whole world, that is ready, waiting and eager to receive our Easter flowers.
A blessed Easter to all,
Very Rev. Christopher H. Smith, Rector