Lesson of the Flowers
“The grass withers, and the flower falls, but the word of the Living God abides forever.” – 1 Peter 1:24b-25a (NRSV)
A flower produces pollen, and something helps it move. If the pollen reaches a receptive flower, it pollinates, and maybe it’ll fertilize, and then maybe it forms a seed. A lot has to happen right for this little vessel of potential life to come about.
Then: the seed has to go. It can’t stay where it was, because if it did, the new life would compete with the old. So instead, the flowering plant depends on others to get those seeds moving to a new place.
Suitable ground allows that seed to break open. Only in that opening can the seed grow. The opening is called germination.
Then: it must dig roots.
Roots pick up those essential life elements: water. Nutrients to grow. Only when the root structure is sufficient is the plant ready to produce a shoot and emerge from the soil.
That shoot turns into a stem, which carries the nutrients up from the earth as the plant starts to reach towards the light. From the stem, the plant grows leaves, which pull in the light and turn it into sugar. And as they do, they release oxygen. That’s photosynthesis.
And, when the time is right and the plant reaches a certain point of maturity, it’s ready to develop its beautiful flower, which is where this process starts again.
A mature plant is productive and moves through these cycles as long as its own life continues. But its seeds endure. As do their seeds.
As do you.
May my soul dance to the flower’s rhythm, O God.
Kaji Douša is the Senior Pastor of The Park Avenue Christian Church, a congregation of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) and the United Church of Christ, in New York City.