Posted by Marjorie Ainsborough Decker text© 2011 on Apr 3rd, 2009
Dear Friends of the Fellowship of the Blog,
This is a good day for hot tea and “Hot Cross Buns.” Like thousands of other homes in our area, we have been without electricity since noon yesterday, due to a freezing, rogue storm.
Fortunately, we have a wood-burning stove in the living room. It looks deceptively simple and pretty. But in times of emergency it shows its mettle and muscle in providing us with auxiliary heat. With a bit of improvisation, we’ve found it even goes beyond the call of duty as a fireplace.
For instance, this morning (armed with plenty of hot pads to keep from burning ourselves) we cooked breakfast on top of the wood stove: scrambled eggs, a pot of steaming hot tea, and waffles topped with blueberries; Needless to say, we keep a stock of logs in the wood shed “for such a time as this.”
Notable, isn’t it, how even a simple pen and notebook shine when the power is out! And that’s what I’m using as I sit outside on the porch writing this blog.
Looking around, I’m struck by two contrasts: Here outside the house, God’s creature world is bustling with chirping activity. It’s business as usual for the robins, cardinals, sparrows and even the Oklahoma State bird – the Scissor-tailed flycatcher. All is well in God’s handiwork of creation because it is filled with life! Whereas, inside the house, without electricity, there is no “life” to all the wired conveniences and modern marvels in there.
What a picture of our own human state, until we have the Source of Divine power and life – The Lord Jesus Christ! The Apostle Paul, although he had all the “modern marvels” of a brilliant education in Jewish law, taught at the feet of the esteemed Rabbi Gamaliel, and by his own testimony he was “…of the stock of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, an Hebrew of the Hebrews; as touching the law, a Pharisee;” (Philippians 3:5) Yet, with all his credentials, and knowledge of the Hebrew Scriptures, he was “wired for sound” but had no electricity! That is, until he met and received the Power of God in the Lord Jesus Himself. And what a powerhouse Paul became for the Gospel!
Today, I’ve just noticed some daffodils popping up. They aren’t waiting for electricity. And neither is the rejoicing of Easter time, with hot cross buns at the table to remind us of our blessed Lord’s Cross.
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. 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)
Hallelujah! The electricity just came back on in our house! God bless those linemen who stayed up all night and day to help us. So, the Fellowship of the Blog now resumes on computer!
The word “Hallelujah” brings to mind a thrilling account of a miraculous battle victory fought on the banks of the River Dee. Our family has visited there several times. (You’ll notice the River Dee throughout the Christian Mother Goose Book series. It was the home of the “Jolly Miller.”)
It was Eastertime in 430 A.D. when two missionaries from France, St. German and Lupus, were ministering to a camp of British soldiers in Llanarmon, on the banks of the Dee. The soldiers were there to defend against a surprise attack by the Picts and Scots.
Many of the rough and ready soldiers had responded to the Gospel, so on “Easter Eve” the good missionaries held a baptismal service in a “crude church built of trees and boughs.” Suddenly, the camp was surprised by the approach of a large army of the fierce invaders. St. German resolved to lead the repulse himself. Selecting the best of the inexperienced troops, he posted his little army in ambush in a narrow valley surrounded by hills. Many of the men were still wet from their baptism, and although, “almost despairing of human power, they put their trust in Divine help.”
The invading marauders advanced, confident of victory. All of a sudden, St. German and Lupus shouted from the ambush, “Hallelujah, Hallelujah, Hallelujah!” With one voice the soldiers took up the shout, multiplying a thundering echo of “Hallelujah!” that rolled around the surrounding hills. It filled the invaders with great fear. Thinking that a vast army was pouring out against them, they threw away their weapons and fled in panic. Without striking a single blow, or losing a man, the motley assortment of Britons witnessed a great Hallelujah Easter victory! It sounds like an echo of Joshua 23:10 indeed.
One moment please, as I take the last of my hot cross bun outside on the back patio to Mr. Sparrow. His lively confidence, as he builds his nest in our eaves, takes me to the “don’t worry” words of The Lord Jesus in Matthew 6:26, “Behold the fowls of the air: for they sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns; yet your Heavenly Father feedeth them. Are ye not much better than they?” Over and over The Lord God repeats how supremely valuable we are to Him.
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.)
Thank you for your Easter visit and Happy Easter Blessings!
Christian Mother Goose®
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