Sunday, March 23, 2008

Happy Easter!

In the spirit of resurrection, new life and the beauty of spring I bought this plant this weekend. I thought it was beautiful so I immediately pulled out the little tag thingy that gives you plant care tips. It was very basic so I thought I would look it up on the internet. I wanted to make sure I knew how to keep it blooming. It turns out, despite my best efforts, it will die anyway.
You see it is called a Guzmania Bromeliad. Yeah...I know! Anyway, it is the the same family as pineapples. See the resemblance? If you could feel it you would see that it has very pineapple like qualities. However, back to it's certain death. This particular plant takes approximately one year to bloom. The flowering actually kills it. It diverts all it's energy to the central flower and in doing so it causes the plant to die. The good news is it can be resurrected. As it grows, flowers and slowly dies it develops "pups" 2 -3 to be exact. These can be broken off of the main plant and replanted. They too will live a year, bloom, then die and the cycle continues. Hang on...I'm going somewhere with this. It just occurred to me that there is an Easter story in this.
I 'm thinking that it's growth season, while only a year, is similar to the time that Jesus spent as he began and continued through his ministry. See the thing about this flower is that the leaves actually turn into the flower. As the flower begins to form it forms through existing leaves. They begin to turn a brilliant pink on the tips giving you a glimpse of what it's beauty will be. You see it's color. You see it's promise to turn into something new. Something you believed to be a leaf is actually transforming itself into a beautiful flower - a promise of what it will become. Just as Jesus was merely a man to some in the beginning...well, then they got to see Jesus - the real Jesus - the Savior of the world Jesus. With each kindness showed, with each miracle performed He changed in the eyes of some who at first did not believe in Him. They got to see Him transform the ordinary into the extraordinary. We get to observe as he makes something beautiful of our lives; as He transforms us.
Then the flower is gloriously formed. The entire leaf turns bright pink and hardens as it becomes transformed. It is now a flower. All the while the plant is dying. It's purpose being redirected. I liken this stage to Jesus' last few days. His life was changing as prophecy grew nearer to fulfillment. He was "sold out" by His own disciple and denied three times by another. Our Jesus was being beaten, being clothed in royal purple only to be made a mockery of, a stinging crown of thorns smashed upon His head. He was sent back and forth from Pilate to Herod while they tried to determine his fate, to ultimately judge Him. Our Jesus stood tall and brave as He suffered what we cannot imagine. His energy spent while nailed upon that cross as He died to fulfil a promise. He hung there suffering and in physical pain in the most beautiful act of His life. His energy slowly spent as He was dying on the cross, growing weaker and suffering so that we could live that the promised would indeed be fulfilled.
We can have life eternal through His sacrifice - we can live again as will the Bromeliad on my coffee table. In Jesus' death and even in my little plants death their is hope and life and resurrection. In it's most beautiful work it will die. But without it's slow growth, it's even bloom and then it's death... well it's nothing. It wouldn't exist without this process; just as we could not live again without Jesus' slow growth into ministry, his eventual bloom and His death.
Just as my plant will produce "pups" to carry out it's mission so did Jesus through His disciples. I will think twice when I pass my little plant from now on. Happy Easter to all my fellow "pups."