Posted by Marjorie Ainsborough Decker text© 2011 on Mar 23rd, 2010
Warm Greetings, Dear Blog-Nog Friends,
On this cold and snowy second day of Spring! And looking out of my kitchen bay window, I see last night’s blizzard left a huge donation of snow, which continues to pile up as I write, with pen in hand, by our cozy fireplace. Its friendly warmth continues to cheer us up as we remain marooned at home on top of Decker Hills for a few days.
But standing bravely through the snow I see the green tips of my lilies, determined to herald Easter time, snow or not! They are growing near the door of Mr. Rabbit’s home. He’s a recent addition to the neighborhood, now residing under the east side of our back porch deck. Mr. Possum (on the west side), and Mr. Turtle (on the north side), don’t seem to mind at all.
Well, this is a good day for hot tea, and the Easter Season tradition of Hot Cross Buns to remind us of our Lord’s Cross of Redemption.
The term “Hot Cross Buns” was formerly a London street vendor’s cry, and recorded as far back as 1733. The “jingle” cry of the street vendor was: “Good Friday comes this month, the old woman runs, With one or two a penny hot cross buns.” Later, it became the rhyme we know today (and then the Christian Mother Goose rhyme below).
Traditionally, the children sang “Hot Cross Buns” on Good Friday, when the buns were eaten for breakfast. But by the time the rhyme reached – over the centuries – to my childhood in Liverpool, we eagerly ate the buns as early as we could, all the way to Easter Sunday. Then, after Easter, if any were left at the bakery in Rose Vale, we could buy a generous bag full of hot cross buns for just one big copper penny and a “ha-penny.”
The cry “Hot Cross Buns!” has been heard through generations since 1733. “I am The Bread of life,” has been the cry of The Son of God from eternity past, as He looked down the path of time to each and every Easter. Jesus said in John 6:33, “For the Bread of God is He Who cometh down from heaven, and giveth life unto the world.” – true life: everlasting life, which was lost through the calamity of sin.
But God’s love confronts that calamity by the Cross of His dear Son.
The shed blood of Christ that cleanses us from all sin and welcomes all of us outcasts into His arms, without reservation, by our simply believing in The One Who died on the Cross to pay the price of our redemption from sin and death. And even a hot cross bun can be used for a child to know that “The preaching of the Cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God.” (I Corinthians 1:18)
Behind some of the rhymes and stories in Christian Mother Goose are true incidents which inspired them. One such rhyme” is “How Do Easter Lilies Hear?” Here is the actual “story behind the story.”
It began in our local grocery store on the day before Good Friday. I was in the floral
department when I noticed my friend, Barbara, staring at the Easter lilies – I should say plants, as no lilies were in bloom on the few pots left. I had bought two pots; one was the last pot with lilies open, and the other pot with six lilies tightly closed.
Barbara picked up a pot, put it in her basket, looked at it for a minute, and then put it back on the shelf. I surmised the reason for her decision. I knew her household budget was hard pressed at home, with her husband between jobs at the time. And most likely, groceries were the top priority for her.
I quickly paid for my two pots and then found Barbara in the soup aisle. Without explanation, I held up the two pots, “Pick one, Barb,” I said. Then I felt ashamed that I hadn’t just given her the one with lilies blooming. (Oh, dear Lord, here comes a confession of repentance again.) Well, Barb picked the non-blooming pot, over my now-too-late insistence to take the blooms.
Then she shed a few tears, holding the dormant lilies, which only made me feel worse. “The girls so wanted Easter lilies for Easter,” she stuttered. I just hugged her and dashed off home, feeling guilty every time I looked at those blooming lilies, never knowing how God would bless that half-attempt at good neighborliness.
The next week, I bumped into Barbara again. She was radiant as she told me the story of the six closed-up lilies as it came from her 5-year-old little girl’s lips. Here it is, as I wrote the details in rhyme for the Christian Mother Goose series:
What a lovely lesson of God’s creative power in the laws of His plant kingdom! A little child recognized those six lilies opened at His command and shed their fragrance in honor of our risen Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Indeed, “A little child shall lead them.” And that is the motto and insignia of Christian Mother Goose. How wonderful if grown-ups would hear when “God told them to open and bloom.”
I remember an older man saying: “If I am so good-for-nothing, why did God pay such a high price for me?” That wise question truly helps us to see the only answer: the infinite, never-ending love of God. The God of Easter Who, as the beloved A.W. Tozer wrote: “To the frightened He is friendly; to the poor in spirit He is forgiving; to the ignorant He is considerate; to the weak He is gentle; to the stranger, hospitable.” How can we not love such a Heavenly Father!
“Come and dine, the Master calleth.” He has a place at His table for you and me. (And I believe we can even request Heavenly Hot Cross Buns.)
Happy Easter Blessings!!
Christian Mother Goose®
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