"I am the vine; you are the branches." — John 15:5

“Of Water, Born” – Saturday, April 3 2021

St. Helen’s Daily Lenten Devotional 

Now the green blade rises from the buried grain, what that in dark earth many days has lain; love lives again, that with the dead has been; love is come again like  wheat arising green.
Now the Green Blade Rises by John M.C. Crum

There is a legend that when Joseph of Arimathea took the lifeless body of Jesus down from the cross, he flung the crown of thorns, which had tortured his brow, far from the crucifixion ground.   The next day, the Sabbath day, a visitor in Jerusalem was out walking, likely looking for what he could scavenge from the area.  He came upon that ugly, blood-smeared crown lying on the earth. And from its centre the bright green shoots of new growth had sprung.  Perhaps there was something to the story the Rabbi’s disciples’ had told?  Perhaps there was hope that this was not the end?  Perhaps this isn’t a legend at all but something I made up! 

What I did not imagine is the truth it proclaims.  Nothing, not violent death nor the grave, would prevent the glory that was to come.

O God of unchangeable power and eternal light,
look favorably on your whole Church, that wonderful and sacred mystery.
By the effectual working of your providence, carry out in tranquility the plan of salvation.
Let the whole world see and know that things that were cast down are being raised up,
and things which had grown old are being made new,
and that all things are being  brought to their perfection by him
through whom all things were made,
your Son Jesus Christ our Lord;
who lives a reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever. Amen.
Book of Alternative Services p. 313

Note: Since at least around the year 400, a relic believed by many to be the crown of thorns has been venerated. At the time of the Crusades, the Latin EmperorBaldwin II of Constantinople yielded the relic to French King Louis IX. Kept in the Notre-Dame Cathedral in Paris until April 2019, when the fire ravaged the cathedral, the relic has since been kept in the Louvre.