December 17, 2018

Lo, How a Rose E’er Blooming

United Methodist Hymnal – #216

. . . It came a floweret bright,

amid the cold of winter . . .


We live in the desert . . . we don’t understand winter. Well, we understand that it’s dark in the morning until 7, or 7:30. We understand that traffic increases, and golf courses raise their greens fees. We may even know that maybe two nights a year, we have to cover all of our plants to keep them from freezing back. But for shoveling snow, scraping our windshields, salting our sidewalks, we’re clueless. Most everywhere else, however, winter is understood, along with fall, spring and summer. It’s all part of a cycle. Like the Paschal Mystery we celebrate on Easter, the seasons echo Life – Death – Resurrection. And during the winter, one longs for renewal. I have friends that publish pictures of the first crocus of spring on their Facebook page. So living here, where things bloom year round, we would not be surprised to see a vibrant, beautiful flower in the middle of winter. But a beautiful purple crocus poking its head out of the snow must be a shocking sight. A blooming flower in the midst of winter, a sign that life is renewing, and the cycle is beginning again. Throughout time, the rose has often represented The Virgin Mary or Christ. So the image of a vibrant rose, abloom in the snow should evoke the same startling image as a King born in a stable. Today, would anything be startling? I believe it should. As we enjoy our abundance, we should be startled by those with so little. Could we be that blooming flower for someone else’s winter?


Brother, sister, let me serve you,

let me be as Christ to you.





Loving and generous God, like the lilies of the field, we should want for nothing. We sing that all we have needed your hand has provided. Yet the voices of the world tell us that we need more and more. Help us to learn the concept of “enough”. And then, show us how our surplus can better our community and our world. Help us to reflect Christ through our generosity.  Amen.

Filed under Advent Devotional

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