Anglican Morning Devotion for 11 September 2021 Anno Domini
A ministry of the Anglican Orthodox Communion Worldwide
|“I am the rose of Sharon, and the lily of the valleys. 2As the lily among thorns, so is my love among the daughters. 3As the apple tree among the trees of the wood, so is my beloved among the sons. I sat down under his shadow with great delight, and his fruit was sweet to my taste. 4He brought me to the banqueting house, and his banner over me was love.” (Song of Solomon 2:1-4; KJV)|
The National flower of the Republic of Korea is the Mu Goong Wha. It is a beautiful flower that blooms from an attractive shrub throughout the growing season. The flower is found on all official seals of Korea from Police to President. How much greater joy and pride would the Christian people of Korea take in their National Emblem if they only knew that the Mu Goong Wha, properly translated, would be the Rose of Sharon for that is precisely what it is. Even the Korean Bible translates the name directly to say, in Korean, Rose of Sharon without making allusions to its real name, Mu Goong Wha.
Christ is our beautiful Rose of Sharon. His visage is, or should be, our National Emblem. He is furthermore the Lily of the valleys – not ‘valley’, but ‘valleys’. Through ALL our valleys of the Shadow of Death, Christ marks the way for our comfort. He is the white flower that promises us that He is with us even in the dark valley. He lives there, too, to show us that we also live through our sojourn in our darkest despair with Him. Death is not real, but only a shadow!
He is also the fruitful apple tree that we encounter among the otherwise tasteless trees of the forest – the only one among the trees there that bears fruit and transmits life and refreshment to us in our journey through the forest. He is a very special tree among all the others – a tree from which we gather treasure and which is delightful to the taste. No other tree, though there are many, are like this one tree. He was the Tree of Life which our Father Adam rejected in the Garden at Eden. He is the Tree of a variety of fruits which we shall share again in the Paradise of Heaven. His roots are deep, and His branches broad and full of nutrients. He is our Tree of Life. We may take refuge from the labors of life under those sheltering branches.
He has invited us to His Great Banquet to taste of such exquisite flavors that the world lacks descriptive adjectives to describe. He feeds us at His Table in the presence of our enemies. They are helpless to harm us when we are in His presence. He causes our cups to overflow with mercy and blessing – mercies and blessings which the world knows not. We are admitted, even in this life, to His encampment of Holiness and Righteousness so that we are perceived to be a City on a Hill with gleaming and effulgent beam of Light piercing the desert landscape in all directions. And like every City of note, our banner waves above us – it is His Banner which waves so freely and gracefully over His people. It is the Banner of Love. We abide under the cover of His Banner – His Banner of Love.
Who can know the depths of such Love, already consummated and established forever? Only those who seek His Face shall see Him. Have you, my friend, sought His warm and loving Face? Have you opened the door (without latches) over your heart to admit the One who made you and Loves you beyond description? If not, today is the day, now is the moment of decision for your eternal life. Do it without hesitation!
He meets us at our most critical moments, whether by the Fountain at Beersheba, or at the Open Tomb of the Garden. He may walk undetected by our side on our Road to Emmaus, or suddenly appear in our midst at the Supper. Because of our lack of faith, we often need to be profoundly made aware that, though we were in fear and doubt, He was right beside all along. No one can truly KNOW Christ without LOVING Christ. Do you?