First Presbyterian Church

Alleluia, Christ is risen!

Alleluia! Christ is Risen! Christ is risen, indeed

Happy Easter to each of you!

The dogwood tree. I remember as a child growing up in Virginia, one of our annual rites of Spring was to take my Grannymother, who did not drive, to visit the Azalea Gardens. As a child I thought it was booooring! We had to drive a “long” way, about 30 minutes from home. All we did after we got there was to drive or walk through the gardens looking at flowers, lots and lots of azaleas and other Spring flowers. The one thing I do remember about those trips is the dogwood tree.

I remember the first time I heard the legend of the dogwood tree. You can read about it here:

I still love dogwood trees. Our home in NC had lots of dogwood trees that grew wild on the back wooded lot. We only saw them in some of the more mountainous areas when we lived in California. Then we moved to Illinois and Indiana and had them in our yards! We have 2 in our yard here in Connersville – one pink and one white. I watch closely for them to bloom. I notice them as the buds begin to pop. I am hoping that they will have a few open blossoms when the sun hits them this Easter morning. One of my favorite pictures of First Presbyterian Church is one with the dogwood tree by the front entrance in full bloom.

Dogwoods always remind me of a special connection to family and to God. Theirs is such a delicate blossom and like the legend says, the blossom holds both the agony of the cross and the beauty of the resurrection.

I think it is important to have moments or symbols that remind us of God; times or places that remind us to stop and recall God’s goodness and beauty in our lives. It is good to have something that helps us to recall God’s faithfulness throughout the generations and makes us pause for a heartfelt, “Thank-you, God” or an “Alleluia!;” a moment of spontaneous gratitude that unexpectedly floods our souls.

Are there people, or places, or moments that you recall in that special way? Are there some “thin places” in your life that help you to see earth and heaven meet and bring great joy to your heart and soul?

My prayer is that this day of resurrection is renewing to you! May you find new life, new beauty, new energy in moments that are precious to you and God. You are precious to God! God even cares about the dogwood tree.

Easter Alleluia’s!

Pastor Judy