‘Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow…’

 

In Crowhurst’s two full stained glass windows you can see that two flowers are shown.  One window has lilies to stand for purity and the other has red roses to stand for love.  These windows are a reminder that flowers and plants have long had symbolic meanings.

 

In the Victorian era it was common for people to send each other so-called ‘talking bouquets’.  Every flower and leaf meant something, so providing you recognized the plant you could look it up in your floral code book and see what was meant by your gift.  If a Victorian lady received a purple hyacinth she knew that the sender was saying sorry for something.  If a man received oak leaves, however, he was being commended for his bravery.

 

Flowers and plants are often used symbolically in the Bible too.  King David, the traditional writer of the psalms described how the country of Israel was alike a vine planted and cared for by God (Psalm 80:8-11).  His son, King Solomon, wrote a great love poem, the Song of Songs, which speaks of the love felt between a maiden and her beloved; the maiden now being thought to stand for the church and the beloved for God. ‘I am a rose of Sharon, a lily of the valleys. As a lily among brambles, so is my love among maidens. As an apple tree among the trees of the wood, so is my beloved among young men.’ (Song of Songs 2:1-3)

 

Later Our Lord Jesus Christ pointed out how beautiful the lilies of the field are. (Mathew 6:28-29)  By lilies He probably means every showy flower.  Most of us can certainly agree that flowers are beautiful and the impending Catsfield flower festival promises to be quite something. For Christian people, of course, the glories of the natural world also point to a good creator God.  As St Paul puts it ‘Ever since the creation of the world [God’s] eternal power and divine nature, invisible though they are, have been understood and seen through the things he has made.’ (Romans 1:20)

Father Michael

Posted By: valerie

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