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SPRING SYMBOLS REMIND US OF RESURRECTION                                                        

By the Rev. Mark Price*
From United Methodist Now

When the weather turns warmer and the grass grows greener, it’s easier to understand the promise of new life and renewed hope that Christians proclaim as “Easter people.” The reminders are all around us so be sure to keep an eye out on your next spring stroll. Birds The robin, a very common bird in the U.S., has a red breast and a legend to explain it. Seems that once a gray robin flew to Christ’s crown of thorns to draw out a thorn, and when it did, a drop of Christ’s blood fell on its breast, leaving a stain forevermore. Bees
It takes lots of buzzing bees to spread the pollen and make flowers grow. The honey these creatures create is a biblical symbol of God’s favor. The Torah agrees, for it describes God’s promised land again and again as “flowing with milk and honey.” Flowers
Long considered a symbol of hope and new life, the daffodil is one of the blooms most often connected to the Resurrection. Tradition says that giving a gift of daffodils will ensure happiness for the receiver—but always give a bunch: a single bloom signals doom. The flowering shrub known as the forsythia is what I call the Easter tree, because when its spidery branches are moving with the wind, they seem to be arms waving in praise of the season. According to tradition, forsythia means anticipation—an appropriate companion word for Resurrection.   It is said the dogwood tree used to grow straight and tall, but after it was used as a crucifix for Christ, God made it short and twisted with a thin trunk so it could never be used as a cross again.

The dogwood bloom has four parts, each with a rusty red color on the end and a small hole, a reminder of where the nails were driven into the cross. 

The center stamens look like the crown of thorns. Faith
The traditions that developed around these spring symbols helped explain the concept that God in the flesh took on death and came back to tell us there is life on the other side. What fantastic news! This spring, be a witness to the good news that Christ is risen: Learn about the symbols and notice them when you are outdoors this season. Even better: plant some dogwoods and flowers in your yard and on the grounds of your church.​Fashion a cross from cuttings of spring flowers. Invite others to help. Set it out in front of your church, or even your house, for all to see.​Make (don’t buy) a gift for someone who needs to be reminded of the love of God made known in the Risen Christ.​Play. Not a video game or a phone app. Physically play. Move. Dance. Interestingly, the Irish jig and tap dancing have their roots in an early Saxon tradition called the “hop-egg.” The purpose was to step among a dozen eggs as if walking the Stations of the Cross. This egg dance is likely the distant relative of hopscotch. The Council at Nicaea in 325 AD gave the Church a revised creed. The last line reads: “We look for the resurrection of the dead, and the life of the world to come.” As Easter people, we don’t have to look further than spring for an exclamation point to that affirmation.                                              

*Price is Minister of Spiritual Formation and Facilities Manager at Christ United Methodist Church in Franklin, TN. This story was originally published on May 14, 2014.

   Reflection and Prayer  +  March 2019

     God, we know you understand our heartache.  Thank you for weeping with us and then for giving us the courage to start rebuilding.
***Even in our darkest despair, God shines a light of hope.                                     

     Thank you, Lord for loving us and being with us each day of our lives.  Help us to see the doors that you open and call us to enter.                                                    ***When one door closes, look for God to open another.                                        

     Compassionate God, thank you for those who bless us with their kindness.  Thank you also for blessing us when we are kind.                                                                                                                                                                                 ***Loving others can fill us with joy.

O God, You are my God;
Early will I seek You;My soul thirsts for You,My flesh longs for You In a dry and thirsty landWhere there is no water.                    -Psalm 63-1

Seek the Lord and His strength;Seek His face evermore!Remember His marvelous works which He has done, His wonders, and the judgements of His mouth.                                                                                                       -1 Chronicles 16:11-12

If you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus
and believe in your heart that God has raised Him
from the dead,you will be saved.                                                                                                                     -Romans 10:9

God's love is amazing!  It is real!  It is personal.
God's love is powerful, and the best news of all? 
His love never ends, no matter what!
Your God wants to bless you with his love now and forever.

Live Simply -
Love Generously -
Care Deeply -
Speak Kindly -
Leave the rest to God!

                                                            +    +     +

     At Journey of Faith  we are committed to pray for The World, Our Community and individual Prayer Concerns. Weekly prayer listing is available by email.

     We also have a Prayer Chain whereby we can mobilise a number of people very quickly to respond to urgent prayer requests.                                                  

      Call the Pastor  at 303 710 9020 to arrange this or email jofumc2@aol.com and your request will be delivered confidentially to the Prayer Team. Entering your name is optional but it would help the Prayer Team to have, at least, a Christian name to focus their prayer on.      



      We will transform lives, transform community, and renew the mainline church through intercessory prayer, the formation of personal prayer and shared prayer experience.   

                                                 Offering a Prayer for People of this World.
                                                    Our Prayer for the World.

Lord our God,
we pray for those who are overwhelmed by pain, sorrow, despair or loneliness.
May they know the victory of love,
The song of hope and a glimpse of glory.Lord our God, we pray for all countries who are at war, overwhelmed by conflict, famine, disease or unrest.
May they know the victory of love,
The song of hope and a glimpse of glory.
Through Jesus Christ your Son.