Delayed Resurrection

There are two Easter lilies in the front flowerbed at the parsonage that are just now blooming. I planted them a few years after someone gifted me two of their lilies from our Annual Easter Memorial Garden. Maybe I planted them at the wrong time because they’re more like Independence Day lilies than Easter lilies.

Because of their white petals and trumpet-like shape, Easter lilies are sometimes called “white-robed apostles of hope.” Their ubiquitous presence at Easter is a symbol proclaiming the resurrection and representing the robes of heavenly purity. That’s why lilies are also often included in floral arrangements for funerals.

I love my “Easter” lilies not in spite of their delayed blooms, but rather because they bloom a little late. Their summer blooms remind me that resurrection isn’t confined to just one day, but that resurrection can and is happening all the time. No matter how delayed it may feel, resurrection always blooms right on schedule.

In the midst of struggle, we long for new life. In the midst of sorrow, we desire the promised joy of resurrection. But it doesn’t always happen on our timetable. Sometimes, resurrection grows slowly, quietly pushing its way through the earth until its ready to bloom.

Because Easter falls on a different day each year, commercial greenhouse growers have become experts at measuring bud and leaf development in order to adjust the humidity and temperature of the greenhouse to ensure the lilies bloom right at Easter. But all that comes after the bulbs have spent a few years growing and developing in specially cultivated fields.

Resurrection is a miracle and a laborious project. It’s a thing that both takes both time and attention as well as something that can catch us off guard. At a time when it seems like there’s a lot that’s undermining the hope we have in what it means to be free, I’m giving thanks for these Independence Day Easter Lilies. I’m giving thanks for the promise and hope of resurrection that grows in the darkness. I’m giving thanks for the new life that blooms in all seasons.

May you find signs of resurrection and be renewed by the hope that might bloom late, but always blooms on time.

In Love,
Pastor Annette