From Rev. Daniel England

In England, March equals daffodils in every garden, church yard and supremely on "The Backs" along the banks of the Cam River and King's College, Cambridge. In this country, snowdrops dare to peek out and crocuses bring a smile to everyone that sees them. It is also the season, at least for Easter (though it has one toe in April this year).

I love daffodils and always have because I thought when I was little that they were for my birthday in March. These days, of course, I am less enthused about birthdays but still hanging in there with daffs. And so it was one year after Easter, an elderly woman for whom the church had supplied an Easter lily called me up and insisted I come get it and plant it. Well, I had tried this once before without success but to humor her I promised I would. So I took it home and stuck it into the ground without much ceremony or mulch in a little patch in the front garden. Winter came and went and spring came and went and then summer and finally autumn, when I decided to plant a hundred daffodils for the following spring. (I was dismayed to see during the winter that the squirrels had found my bulbs and were digging them up at an alarming rate. These are the same rascals that eat my Concord grapes every year).

One fine sunny day that next spring, I was alarmed to see a crowd of daffodil bulbs uprooted by something pushing out from under them. It was, of course, the long-forgotten Easter lily, which not only burst through the ground but blossomed into glorious trumpets of flower.

That, in microcosm, is Easter. In our individual lives and in the life of the church, our community of faith - remember, we say Our Father, not My Father - we make plans, we do many things we have always done, like plant daffodils. But then the Resurrection of Jesus reminds us of how the disciples' lives which had lost all purpose, were interrupted by Christ's pushing up out of the ground, as it were, and upsetting their despair with good news that continues to this day.

The church these days, as in every age, but especially now, needs to feel the push of the new from time to time, our assumptions, like so many bulbs, upset, yes, but also startled into a new way of arranging the garden. This is the time for a bold, blaring Easter lily to butt in and give us hope.