This time of the year–– outside almost every window here at the parsonage… you can spot it: Lycoris squamigera (try saying that quickly, three times in a row!) You may not recognize the name, or even its distinctive green foliage, which typically emerges after Easter. But later during the summer, after all of the foliage dies back–– a pencil-thick flowering stalk will emerge from the ground gracefully bearing from four to seven nodding, rose-pink flowers. This flowering perennial goes by several names, but my personal favorite is: Resurrection Lily! The first few years we lived here, by the time its early spring foliage had died back at the onset of summer–– we had all but forgotten about it. And then, later in the summer it appeared–– seemingly out of nowhere! The fact is, it hadn’t “died” at all–– this particular lily goes into a period of dormancy and then later rises up from what seems like barren ground. It is a glorious sight to behold; much like the promise of the resurrection!
After Easter–– what are we to do? We are to hold onto the hope that has been proclaimed: He is risen! If our well-intended family gatherings, special services and inspiring choral and instrumental pieces are just “in the moment” and do little to fuel our faith–– then in the words of the Apostle Paul: “we are more to be pitied than anyone in the world.” In his first letter to the Corinthians, Paul said: “But tell me this— since we preach that Christ rose from the dead, why are some of you saying there will be no resurrection of the dead? For if there is no resurrection of the dead, then Christ has not been raised either. And if Christ has not been raised, then your faith is useless and you are still guilty of your sins. In that case, all who have died believing in Christ are lost! And if our hope in Christ is only for this life, we are more to be pitied than anyone in the world.” (1. Corinthians 15:12-13, 17-19, NASB)
The resurrection of Jesus Christ from the grave was God’s validation of the redemptive work of the cross. The hope of the resurrection should fuel our faith; well beyond Easter Sunday. It is a remarkable thing to watch Lycoris squamigera emerge from what seems like barren soil. It is a far more remarkable sight–– seeing men and women of faith, living in the power of the resurrection. Perhaps it should become our new maxim: “Less pity–– more power!”
In His Joy,