Minnesota Prairie Roots

Writing and photography by Audrey Kletscher Helbling

Consider the lilies February 2, 2014

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“NO WONDER IT FEELS SO COLD,” my husband said when he returned to the warmth of the house and checked the outdoor air temp this morning. “It’s 16 below.”

An overview of flower art from members of Trinity Lutheran Church, Faribault, Minnesota, displayed in the chancel during weekend worship services.

An overview of flower art from members of Trinity Lutheran Church, Faribault, Minnesota, displayed in the chancel during weekend worship services.

Bundled in our coats, caps and gloves, we trundled outside to the warming Chrysler for the short drive to Trinity Lutheran Church. There we would find a breath of spring—an assortment of flower art—to lift our spirits.

A floral batik by Arlene Rolf graces a wall in the narthex. Inside the sanctuary, my flower photos are showcased on the screens.

A floral batik by professional artist and Trinity member Arlene Rolf graces a wall in the narthex. Inside the sanctuary (left through glass wall), my flower photos are showcased on three screens.

This is precisely what we needed on a morning when Punxsutawney Phil saw his shadow, indicating six more weeks of winter. Not that we Minnesotans need Phil to show us that. We know our winter will run into mid-March and most certainly longer.

The beautiful and stunning floral quilt art by Kevin Kreger is displayed below a wood carving by noted Faribault artist Ivan Whillock. Kreger coordinated the "Consider the Lilies" floral display at Trinity.

This beautiful and stunning hand-pieced floral quilt art by Kevin Kreger is displayed below a wood carving by noted Faribault artist Ivan Whillock in the sanctuary. This photo is taken looking up from the bottom of the wall hanging.  Kreger, a gifted quilter and musician, coordinated the “Consider the Lilies” floral display.

But for this one hour, we focused on the beauty of flowers, of God’s creation, and the very real promise that God cares for us, just as He does the lilies of the field. “God is in control of our lives,” said the Rev. Warren Schmidt.

Church secretary Jennie Kingland created this lush detailed floral in counted cross stitch.

Church secretary Jennie Kingland created this lush, detailed floral in counted cross stitch.

As Rev. Schmidt’s sermon, “Consider the Lilies,” unfolded, he placed us in the lush setting where Jesus preached his “Sermon on the Mount.”

Flower art buffeted both sides of the chancel, here near the baptismal font and pulpit.

Flower art buffeted both sides of the chancel, here near the baptismal font and pulpit.

Earlier, we’d listened to the gospel lesson, Jesus’ words written in Matthew 6:24-34, including these verses:

And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life? And why are you anxious about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they neither toil nor spin, yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these.

But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is alive and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith?

This same hand-embroidered art, displayed in church, hangs above my bed.

This same hand-embroidered art design, displayed in church, hangs above my bed.

To listen to those reassuring words, to view the beautiful floral art and the bouquets of flowers uplifted me.

"Is there beauty in the cross?" asked the Rev. Warren Schmidt. He emphasized the height, depth, breadth and width of God's love for us, shown in His son's death on the cross so that we might have eternal life.

“Is there beauty in the cross?” asked the Rev. Warren Schmidt. He emphasized the height, depth, breadth and width of God’s love for us, shown in His son’s death on the cross so that we might have eternal life.

I am assured of God’s love and care for me. And, because of Christ’s death on the cross, as the pastor said, we are “the perfection of beauty before God the Father.”

Glorious floral art by Marilyn Borchert.

A snippet of bold floral art by Marilyn Borchert.

How wonderful is that?

birds

From Matthew 6:26: “Look at the birds of the air; they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they?

If God cares for the flowers and the birds and the rest of His creation, so surely He values and cares for us.

© Copyright 2014 Audrey Kletscher Helbling

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