Chuck Terrill: Spring is here!

Wednesday, April 28, 2021

There is a nice rental cabin resort south of Cassville on Highway 112. Out front there is a changeable letters billboard. Right now, the sign reads: “Spring is here! I’m so excited I could wet my plants!”

The tongue-in-cheek pun is one I can relate to. I get excited about Spring. I wait for spring all Winter long. And when it finally arrives, I am rejuvenated. If you can get out of town, take a drive along some of the Ozarks twisty-curvy roads. Drive slowly enough that you can take in the natural Missouri beauty.

The Redbud trees are now at the height of their glory. The purple flowers are set against a backdrop of white. Pear trees and Dogwood trees are in full bloom. Cherry trees have their own distinct beauty. Everywhere, every tree has turned a unique shade of green.

Did you know that some people believe that Christ was crucified on a Dogwood Tree Cross? You may not have heard the Legend of the Dogwood Tree. The anonymous legend has three verses:

“When Christ was on earth, the dogwood grew to a towering size with a lovely hue. Its branches were strong and interwoven, and for Christ's cross its timbers were chosen.

“Being distressed at the use of the wood, Christ made a promise which still holds good: 'Never again shall the dogwood grow to be large enough for a tree, and so, Slender and twisted it shall always be, with cross-shaped blossoms for all to see.

“'The petals shall have bloodstains marked brown, And in the blossom's center a thorny crown. All who see it will think of me, Nailed to a cross from a dogwood tree. Protected and cherished this tree shall be a reflection to of my agony.'” 

Of course, there is no mention of a dogwood tree in the Bible. But God has put many things in nature that can remind us of His incredible mercy and grace. As you look at the beautiful earth that God has created, may it draw your thoughts to Him. 

“For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made.” (Romans 1:20)

Chuck Terrill, who has doctorates from Master Theological Seminary and Trinity Seminary, is the senior minister at First Christian Church in Cassville. He may be reached at 417-847-2460.