Thursday, March 27, 2014


Heads Bowed, Jamestown, NC
Crucified, Jamestown, NC

The delicate blooms of a slender dogwood tree are not only a welcome sign of spring, but also a symbolic remembrance of the crucifixion of the Son of God. The blooms generally appear just above eye level and form a cross with nail rust and red stains on the outer edges. A crown of thorns in the center complete the image of a Savior’s blood sacrifice for the redemption of all mankind.

The apostle Luke records that there were an enlightened few bowing at the foot of Jesus’ cross who understood the meaning of this literally earth shattering event. This small gathering included his mother Mary, Mary Magdalene who Jesus had purged of seven demons and the beloved disciple John. Many others had deserted him for fear of their lives, but these few chose to support him and pray for him.

The Lenten Roses presently blooming under the dogwood trees in my backyard present a symbolic remembrance of those gathered at the foot of the wooden cross with reverent bowed heads. They seem to gather together in humble worship and you are drawn to bow with them as all nature morns the events leading up to God’s sacrifice on that Black Friday over two thousand years ago. But once you are drawn to their ground level countenance, the beautiful faces of these roses of Lent will open the eyes of your heart to the promised hope of Easter resurrection reflected in the symbolic form of the coming dogwood blooms! And wherever in the world today that Christians gather in a sanctuary of worship, you will find them with heads bowed at the foot of the cross.

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