Friday, August 20, 2010

A rose by any other name...

"What's in a name? 
That which we call a rose
By any other name would smell as sweet."
-Shakespeare {Romeo and Juliet}

I am completely fascinated by the many names used to describe Jesus or our relationship with him. Master, redeemer, friend, husband, savior. These are names we have heard in church, if we have spent any time there. But there are also more obscure, however interesting names that he is called. One that has come to my attention lately is "rose of Sharon" mentioned in Song of Solomon.

"I am the rose of Sharon, the lily of the valleys." Song of Solomon 2:1

In the front of my brother's house there are two large, what look like bushes, on either side of the walk. You have to pass through these plants to reach the front door. I am always apprehensive between the months of April and September to do this, however. The plants are constantly buzzing, surrounded by bees of every kind. Beautiful butterflies float by, and I have even seen a hummingbird or two. I never thought much of this for the several years they have lived at their house, and I have visited, trying to slip by undetected to all flying creatures.

While visiting Tennessee last month, and arriving at my brother's house, with my parents, I remarked on how these plants were especially busy with insects. My mom says casually, "That is a rose of Sharon." 
I will never look at them the same...

After doing some research on 'rose of Sharon' it has been consistently stated that the plant is, "vigorous and durable".  That it will grow in full or partial sun, and that it will grow in nearly all kinds of soil.  It is an effective hedge, and even flowers in the summer months, when most shrubs no longer bloom.  It can be transplanted with little trouble and are considered a "butterfly bush" from the attraction of their flowers.

No, Jesus is not a plant.  Jesus is infinitely more interesting, amazing and powerful than a plant.  However, he even refers to himself as a vine...

 "I am the vine, you are the branches; he who abides in Me and I in him, he bears much fruit, for apart from Me you can do nothing"
John 15:5 

So just as the bees and butterflies go to the rose of Sharon for nectar. 
We abide in the vine and are fed.

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