Putting the garden to bed

It's raining today and I can't help but love it! Growing up in the Pacific Northwest, days like this remind me of the good old PNW, where people don't bother to use umbrellas because they'll just lose them and no one ever melted from a bit of rain (other than the Wicked Witch of the West and by all accounts, she deserved it).

Rainy days are, I admit, a little dreary. I mean, I still love them, but if it would just rain and not just think about raining, that would help because then you can enjoy the sound of the rain on the roof and relax while it lulls you to sleep...well, on an evening, anyway. Or a weekend. But days that just look like they're fixin' to rain without ever really getting down to it, are a bit depressing.

However, I am far from depressed when I consider my garden. Out there in the rain, all tucked in for the winter, my small garden space is hunkering down, soaking up this damp day like a dry sponge (because that's exactly what it was) and dreaming of days to come when the little seeds and bulbs and roots that remain will remember their jobs and pop up to join the land of the visible.

Our topic in the adult Sunday School class this week is Jesus' statement in John 11:25, "I Am the resurrection and the life." Each week I've tried to have something visual to represent the "I Am" statements. "The Bread of Life" was easy enough, as was "The Vine" (with help from a class member who has wild grapes). Even "The Light of the World" I could handle, and the "Good Shepherd" was shown well with my daughter's old favorite stuffed lamb, Lamby. (Creative name, I know.) The "Way, the Truth and the Life" was a little more tricky, but let me tell you, I couldn't think of anything for this last lesson. How do I show "The Resurrection and the Life"?! Finally it hit me:

A bulb.

There those bulbs are, down in the dirt in my garden. Brown. Wrinkly. Ugly. Nothing to reveal the future flowers they will provide. But one day, maybe in May, maybe in June, those bulbs will do what they were meant to do and resurrect into things of beauty.

The Resurrection and the Life.

Jesus was given up for dead. He truly was dead! Far more dead than even a buried bulb. But God brought him back to life. The song says, Don't Stop Believing and that's not a bad motto to live by. Those old bulbs underground? Alive. Jesus on Easter morning? Alive. Jesus now, up in heaven? Very much alive.

Don't you doubt it.

And that same power, the power that raised Jesus from the dead, is available to you and me. Consider that, my friends, on this dreary day - or any day. The same power that brought the dead Jesus back to life is available to you and to me. That's the hope to which he has called us.


"I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in his holy people, and his incomparably great power for us who believe. That power is the same as the mighty strength he exerted when he raised Christ from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly realms, far above all rule and authority, power and dominion, and every name that is invoked, not only in the present age but also in the one to come." Ephesians 1:18-21

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