Wednesday, April 20, 2011

The Dogwood

Reflections by the Sea © Betsy Ore Glass
April 20, 2011

Praise be to the God and Father of Our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, -1 Peter 1:3 NIV

This year the dogwoods of eastern North Carolina should be completely flowering by Easter Sunday. The dogwood has a legend surrounding it and it is spiritual in nature. As the story goes, it was a dogwood tree that Jesus was crucified on. God said from that day forward, a dogwood tree would never grow large enough for it to be used ever again as a cross. Today, dogwoods both old and newly planted won’t exceed over about one story in height. The legend continues by suggesting that the four petals of the dogwood flower makes the shape of a cross. The crown of thorns is symbolized by the center of the flower and the red fruit represents the blood of Christ.

Easter is more than egg hunts and chocolate bunnies. It represents the greatest gift of love and sacrifice that we could ever receive. God sent his Son, Jesus, to save us and by Jesus’ crucifixion and resurrection, we have the promise of eternal life as believers. God so loved the world that he gave his one and only son, that whosoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. John 3:16 NIV The sun rising on Easter morning should be a joyous reminder marking the occasion in celebration of God’s love. We must also deeply appreciate Jesus’ gift, the sacrifice of his life so that we may have eternal life. It is a day to praise and rejoice that we are loved as God’s precious children. So much has been given and promised to us. Perhaps Easter is a time to rededicate our lives to Him and his work. These last few weeks we have talked of renewal, spring and new beginnings. Acquiring a renewed Christian attitude can begin with a sense of gratitude when we allow ourselves to take time to experience Easter and its true meaning. Consider sharing the “Legend of the Dogwood” with someone this week. It could be the beginning of helping someone find their faith.

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