By Ralphine Major

A few years ago, our big, black Labrador dog, Buddy, came up the driveway with something in his mouth.  He walked to the edge of the carport and carefully set down a wild baby rabbit.  My brother, Wayne, picked the rabbit up and took it back to the area where he thought it came from.  A few days later, Buddy came up the driveway, again, and gently set the baby rabbit down in front of us.  Three times this scene was repeated.  The tiny rabbit seemed unafraid and hopped upon a pair of boots and sat for awhile.  It even sat long enough for me to go get the camera and take a picture.

Rabbits are one of the signs of the Easter season.  The Easter Bunny comes in all forms—from live rabbits to chocolate bunnies to stuffed animals and figurines.  They represent the fun side of Easter.  Springtime and Easter seem to go hand in hand.  Leaving winter days behind, spring often brings new life with the arrival of baby animals and new growth of daffodils, flowering dogwoods, redbuds, and the Easter lily.

The beautiful, white Easter lily is another sign of this holy holiday.  Described as a trumpet- shaped flower, the lily is a reminder of the classic old hymn, “The Lily of the Valley.”  I had almost forgotten it.  Written by Charles Fry in the late 1800’s, generations have enjoyed its message of hope and comfort.  Wayne reminded me that the song was a favorite of many in the church where we grew up at Fairview Baptist.  We still associate it, however, with the late Elmer Cardwell.  Elmer was a dear, dear friend of our father’s.  They both served as deacons at Fairview, and Elmer was the Sunday School Superintendent, also.  Elmer’s wife, Alice, served as Vacation Bible School Director.  Many times Elmer would mention “The Lily of the Valley” when he spoke to the church.

The most telling sign of Easter is the cross; without it, there would be no Easter.  Numerous songs have been written about it, and Christian projects are still being created to tell about its timeless message.  Thank goodness for Mel Gibson’s production a few years ago of a movie entitled, “Passion of the Christ.”  Gibson’s quality movie gives a graphic and realistic presentation of Jesus’ suffering and death on the cross for the atonement of our sins.

Easter is an event that changed the world, giving people hope and meaning, new life in Christ, and life eternal.  May you be blessed throughout this Easter season as we remember Palm Sunday– the day Jesus rode into Jerusalem on a donkey– and Good Friday– the day Jesus was crucified for our sins that we may have life everlasting.  On Easter Sunday, may we all rejoice and celebrate the day Jesus arose from the dead.  Easter truly is a victorious day!

“ . . . He’s the Lily of the Valley, the Bright and Morning Star,

He’s the fairest of ten thousand to my soul.” (The “Lily of the Valley,” by Charles Fry.)