North Highland United Methodist Church
Sunday, November 29, 2020
Open Hearts, Open Minds, Open Doors

March 2015

The opening words to a favorite hymns proclaims:
In the bulb there is a flower.
Last week we were looking for something to serve as a metaphor for the promise of Easter and New Life during this season of Lent. I lamented that perhaps I should not have planted my Amaryllis in January, whose four blooms were now beginning to fade. Coming to the rescue, Helen brought in an Amaryllis bulb she had not yet planted. As with many bulbs, I noted how unpromising it actually looked. It was very dry, with a sad yellow sprout and mangled would-be roots. But in hope it was planted, and in a few days we saw the promise of a plant. Growing shoots, it now has the promise of a bright red blossom...but will it actually bloom? If so, how many blossoms will it have? Three, like my Amaryllis last year, or four as mine brought forth this year? Perhaps it will be quirky like the picture my friend sent me where hers boasted four beautiful tall blooms, and one surprise short bloom shooting out to the side. Each day we make sure our Lenten Amaryllis gets good sunlight. And now, daily it appears to have soaked up that light and grown during the night. We are seeing signs of promise, but we still have no idea of the end result!
Perhaps our hoped-for red blooms are also a metaphor for prayer. We pray in hope, yet have no guarantee if what we imagine could or should happen, is actually the final result. At times we are as dried out and unhealthy appearing as that bulb, aren’t we? Perhaps with a little time in the quiet of prayer we will begin to feel ourselves pushed out of whatever darkness we are experiencing. And the light…oh, the light. How much we need the warmth of the sun as we wait for spring, and the warmth of the Son as we go through each day. In Exodus, God told Moses, I Am Who I Am, also accurately translated to I Will Be Who I Will Be. When we pray we are allowing God to be God…to love us, to comfort us, to encourage us and to see us through all things. What if God wants to surprise us with the unexpected like with my friend’s extra Amaryllis blossom? What we can trust is that God hears. It may take time as well as open hearts and minds to realize the answer, but God does respond.
From the other verses of Hymn of Promise: there’s a song in every silence; there’s a dawn in every darkness; in our doubt there is believing; in our life eternity. Easter with all its promise of new life is just around the corner. Thanks be to God!
Promises of Joy and Peace to all,
Pastor Lou