As I wandered round our garden, a few days ago, looking sadly at our “hosts of golden daffodils” which had given us so much joy and delight in recent weeks, but now were withering and dying in the bitter April winds that were sweeping across the lawns, Isaiah chapter 53 came spontaneously to mind :

“See my Servant……

as the crowds were appalled on seeing him, so disfigured did he look that he seemed no longer human…

Like a sapling he grew up in front of us, like a root in arid ground.

No look to attract our eyes,

without beauty, without majesty we saw him….

a man of sorrows and familiar with suffering.”

There, in the dying daffodils, I could visualise Jesus writhing in pain, being bent to the ground, buffeted by the wind – his skin drying up…. many flowers had already fallen – rejected – no longer any use to decorate our altars or tables. Yes, there he was, crushed for our sins, symbolically portrayed by the dying flowers. And as I looked around and saw all the other rows of daffodils – another line of Scripture came to mind, this time from Matthew 9 :

“And when he saw the crowds, he felt sorry for them, because they were harassed and dejected like sheep without a shepherd.”

 

So many sad and broken people in our country, in our world – hungry – yes, for food, but deeper still a hunger and yearning for – they know not what.
They have never heard or, having heard, rejected him – the One who died for us all, only to rise again after three days in the tomb, in a glorious resurrection giving radiant life to his little children.
Yes, the daffodils too will die and be thrown out  on a compost heap – and will lie there until perhaps next spring, when they will be nourishment for other young plants.

Father, you have so many ways to teach us. Thank you for the wonders hidden in our “hosts of golden daffodils