Meanwhile, standing near the cross of Jesus were his mother, and his mother’s sister, Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary Magdalene. When Jesus saw his mother and the disciple whom he loved standing beside her, he said to his mother, “Woman, here is your son.” Then he said to the disciple, ‘Here is your mother.’ And from that hour the disciple took her into his own home.”
The legend of the Dogwood tree and its flower as it explodes with white blooms each spring is that its wood, known for its sturdiness and strength was the wood used to create the cross. Yet as it stood on that day used to crucify Jesus, no longer would God allow it to be a tree of height and width but would now grow crooked and narrow; no good for building at all. Yet each spring, just in time for Easter, its blooms would be reminders of Jesus. The pedals would form a cross and if you look closely, each pedal would be indented, as if a nail dented each as well as the color red painting the edges to reminded us of the blood spilt. The middle stamen would resemble a ‘crown of thorns.’ While the dogwood tee is native only to America and most likely not the tree used to fashion crosses in the Middle East or the one on which Jesus hung, the yearly bloom of the dogwood flowers can be powerful reminders of Jesus and the salvation assured.
Gracious Lord, each bloom of a dogwood tree are unexpected reminders of Your great love for us and that call to care for one another. At the cross, even as You prepared for death, You drew together Your two families and ask of us to do no less. With salvation secure, may we respond with gratitude and carry that love out into the world, as the blooms open each spring. In Your precious name we pray, Amen.