Daffodil rescue ministry
Easter worship at St. Paul is a celebration that engages all the senses. At least two of those senses were stimulated last Sunday by the truckloads of flowers that filled our worship spaces. The church building was bursting with pinks, purples, yellows, and whites, and the fragrance could not be missed. When I walked into the dark sanctuary well before the 6 a.m. sunrise service, I couldn’t see the flowers, but I could smell them. I remarked to Pastor Amy, “It smells like resurrection!” Those flowers, many of them provided by the generous donations of St. Paul people, are a real gift, and, in a sense, Easter just wouldn’t be Easter without them.
But what happens to the flowers when the trumpets are back in their cases and the timpani have been rolled back into storage? Some of them are picked up and taken home following worship by those who purchased them, and a great deal are delivered to homebound members of the congregation. Even still, quite a few flowers remain. Last night as students and sponsors were coming and going for confirmation, a gray cart full of potted plants was positioned in the gathering area with a handmade sign attached. It read, “FREE – Save a daffodil’s life!”
I am delighted to report that each and every plant was rescued. One St. Paul member who was carrying a pot home with her said, “I wonder if I will remember by next spring that I planted this.” The blooms will soon be gone from those plants, and, as you know, they won’t offer any color again for a year. The flower beds of many St. Paul homes will be dotted with bright blooms next spring, and, for some, those blooms may be a surprise. For all, they will be a reminder of our community’s celebration of the resurrection of Jesus.
I resist neat comparisons between springtime annuals and the resurrection of Christ. As one preacher has said, “Jesus wasn’t a daffodil.” There’s a difference between dormancy and death, but I love the idea of these symbols of our Easter celebration being planted in our yards. We need reminders of the Good News – that Jesus Christ is risen from the dead, that nothing can stop God’s loving purposes from being fulfilled – and if that reminder comes as a surprise in the form a flower we forgot we planted, so much the better. After all, God’s promises are true, even when we forget them.
–Ryan Bailey, director of faith formation