I remember hearing a story when I was a child about a little boy who lived with his grandfather. They were country folk and actually quite poor. The grandfather’s small cottage had fallen into disrepair and he wasn’t much of a housekeeper. The little house was dark and dusty and stale. But it was home.
One day, a stranger, a small woman with a sweet smile, came up to the little boy in the park and handed him a lily. And then she walked away. Not thinking much of it, the little boy took the lily home to his grandfather. The grandfather put the flower in a mason jar and placed the jar in the window. Compared to the clean jar, the window really looked filthy. So, the grandfather cleaned the window, which of course also allowed more light into the room.
The extra light in the room exposed the dirt on the floor. So, the grandfather had his grandson sweep the floor and then came behind him with a mop and mopped the floor. Well, a clean window and natural lighting and fresh mopped floor seem to require something a bit nicer than a mason jar for the flower, so the grandfather found a vase hidden away in a cupboard and put the lily in it and placed it back in the window.
That one little flower had really made such a difference to their entire living environment, the grandfather decided they should have more flowers. So, the next day, he spaded up a bed of dirt in the front yard and his grandson planted some seeds.
Within a few months, the flowers are gorgeous and grandfather and his grandson have manicured the entire lawn and it becomes so pleasant that neighbors just stop by to admire the flowers and talk to the small family. The sad, lonely two person family living in squalor had transformed their lives into an experience of beauty and celebration and they even made friends in the process.
Now, by this time, the lily that a kind stranger gave the boy is long dead. But the house is clean, the lawn has been transformed into a beautiful garden, and both grandfather and grandson now have friends in their lives. The flower died, but the difference it made in two people’s lives never did.
That’s resurrection power. Lives renewed, energized, made whole. That’s divine life being expressed. That’s spring replacing winter. That’s dawn overcoming the long night. That’s the beautiful butterfly emerging from its chrysalis. And that’s why we are here together today.
I love resurrection stories. And I love that there are so many of them.