From the Pastor



‘Where have all the flowers gone?”


            On the third Sunday of Lent, it is customary in our Church to give out daffodils as tokens of our remembering the crucifixion of our Lord and the meaning of His Holy Cross for us. On Palm Sunday, we give out palms, folded into a Cross, to remind us of the road our Lord traveled into Jerusalem to His trial, crucifixion and burial culminating in His resurrection.  On Holy Friday, at the end of the Lamentations at the Tomb Service, we distribute the flowers from the Epitaphion as a remembrance that our Lord died for our salvation, granting us entrance into God’s heavenly kingdom.


            We now find ourselves joyously greeting one another with “Christ is risen!” and we respond, “Truly He is risen!” But I have a question: “What have all the flowers gone?”


            Some of you may remember that resounding song of Peter Seegar from the sixties, but it could quite easily be asked by our Lord as to what we have done with ourselves, our children, our grandchildren. You recall the words: ‘Where have all the flowers gone? Long time passing. Where have all the flowers gone long time ago’ and ends with these disturbing words, ‘When will they ever learn, when will they ever learn?’


            The sad answer is: back then some killed themselves with drugs, alcohol, etc. Today though, we are abandoning the gentle principles and God inspired teachings of our parents and grandparents. We prefer to hold back teaching our children and grandchildren about God, and Christ, and all that came to pass for our sake. We didn’t understand then that love isn’t simple, if it leaves God out of the equation. Outside of God there are many sorts of love, but it is evident many of us lack the element of sacrifice that our Lord offers, with His love for all of us. We seem to lack the factor of self-sacrifice that we need for a spiritually rewarding love of God for our families and our selves. 


            The guiding principle in our Holy Orthodox faith based on the Bible is the heart of the law of love: love for God, love for our children and grandchildren, love for our neighbor.  Oh yes, there are different types of love; some sentimental, some easy, most of it hard, most of it demanding. But as parents, as adults, as grandparents, we have to heed the words of our Lord. Jesus talked about a God who loves us, as the father of the prodigal son loved his confused and bewildered son.  Gods’ love is unselfish, self-giving, and sacrificial.


            As we celebrate the Resurrection of our Lord during these days, we see that our Lord, God and Savior Jesus Christ, shows that kind of love in action, laying down His life for us. That is love that is strong. Love that is tough. Love that starts when we love God first as we respond to His love for us.


            It is love that we have to work at which means we take time to bring our children into Church. “Where have all the flowers gone?” could apply to the children baptized and who have not been brought to Church since. “Where have all the flowers gone?” could apply to couples married, and have not seen the Church since that day.  “Where have all the flowers gone? could be found in those who feel doing something else on Sunday morning either for themselves or for their children is more important then being in Church.


            Love of God takes all our heart, all our mind, all our soul, all our strength, sacrifice of time to be put into practice. But the marvelous thing is, it is love that endures and never dies. And we get to see the flowers come alive again, and we enjoy the design, the shape, the color, the fragrance, all because we taught them to love God.




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