This summer I realized how much I miss the rose bushes at our house in Iowa. Our current home has all kinds of wild life, birds and different types of flowers. But I miss the roses. They became more than a flower to me. They were a story.
The first person to share with me this story was a seminary professor, Dr. Ralph Smith. His thoughts were sung by Bette Midler’s in the song, “The Rose.” She sang about the dormant winter seed becoming a spring rose through the sun’s love. It’s a story of resurrection.
What Bette Midler missed was the daily resurrection of the rose bush. This lesson I learned from my wife. She taught me if you “dead head” a dying rose, a new one will grow. So after work, we would walk through the garden, snapping off the dying roses from their stem. This dying allowed the rose bush to continue to bloom all summer long. New life is not just a one time story, it is a daily reality.
Death is a necessary condition for a resurrection to occur. Today, Paul talks about the foolishness of the cross. How can death produce life? What possible power could exist in a God who dies? It makes no sense to those who are enamored with human wisdom. Yet, God’s wisdom is sung in the fabric of creation. It is not a foreign story. It is on full display in the simplicity of a rose bush.
The rose bush gave me a way to touch the hope I often find difficult to fully believe. Sometimes, we need to be convinced of the new life given in Christ. It’s a living story which gives us what we need most, hope. May you find enduring hope each new day in the power and wisdom of God. (1 Cor. 1: 17-25)