Saturday, April 4, 2015

"They obey the call of the Lord, the Giver of Life..."

And as they went to tell His disciples, behold, Jesus met them, saying, “Rejoice!”  So they came and held Him by the feet and worshiped Him.  Then Jesus said to them, “Do not be afraid. Go and tell My brethren to go to Galilee, and there they will see Me.”
Matthew 28:9-10

Consider the lilies of the field....
Matthew 6:28

O voice of the Beloved! Thy bride hath heard Thee say, 
“Rise up, My love, My fair one,
Arise and come away.
For lo, ‘tis past, the winter,
The winter of thy year,
The rain is past and over,
The flowers on earth appear.
“And now the time of singing
Is come for every bird;
And over all the country
The turtledove is heard;
The fig her green fruit ripens,
The vines are in their bloom;
Arise and smell their fragrance;
My love, My fair one, come!”
Yea, Lord! Thy Passion over,
We know this life of ours
Hath passed from death and winter
To leaves and budding flowers;
No more Thy rain of weeping
In drear Gethsemane;
No more the clouds and darkness,
That veiled Thy bitter Tree.
Our Easter Sun is risen!
And yet we slumber long,
And need Thy Dove’s sweet pleading
To waken prayer and song.
Oh breathe upon our deadness,
Oh shine upon our gloom;
Lord, let us feel Thy presence
And rise and live and bloom.

O Voice of the Beloved!

      Consider the lilies of the fields.  We must take our Lord’s words exactly.  He is speaking of the lilies, the bulbous plants which spring into flower in countless thousands every spring over the downs of Eastern lands.  All the winter they are dead, unsightly roots, hidden in the earth.  But no sooner does the sun of spring shine upon their graves, than they rise into sudden life and beauty, as it pleases God, and every seed takes its own peculiar body.  Sown in corruption, they are raised in incorruption; sown in weakness, they are raised in power; sown in dishonour, they are raised in glory; delicate, beautiful in colour, perfuming the air with fragrance; types of immortality, fit for the crowns of angels.
      Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow.  For even so is the Resurrection of the dead.  Yes, not without a divine providence~yea, a divine inspiration~has the blessed Eastertide been fixed, by the Church of all ages, as the season when the earth shakes off her winter’s sleep; when the birds come back, and the flowers begin to bloom, when every seed which falls into the ground and dies, and rises again with a new body, is a witness to us of the Resurrection of Christ; and a witness, too, that we shall rise again; that in us, as in it, life shall conquer death; when every bird that comes back to sing and build among us, every flower that blows, is a witness to us of the Resurrection of the Lord and of our Resurrection….
      They obey the call of the Lord, the Giver of Life, when they return to life, as a type and a token to us of Christ their Maker, who was dead and is alive again, who was lost in hell on Easter eve, and was found again in heaven forevermore.  And so the resurrection of the earth from her winter’s sleep, commemorates to us, as each blessed Eastertide comes round, the Resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ, and is a witness to us that some day life shall conquer death, light conquer darkness, righteousness conquer sin, joy conquer grief; when the whole creation, which groaneth and travaileth in pain until now, shall have brought forth that of which it travaileth in labour~even the new heavens and the new earth, wherein shall be neither sighing nor sorrow, but God shall wipe away tears from all eyes.
Out of the Deep

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