Easter at our church is a biggie for kids. One of the most delightful customs is called “The Flowering of the Cross.” A plain wooden cross is set up in the front of the altar. Its not a very pretty cross – in fact, its kinda ugly – a small but accurate representation of crosses used to execute people two thousand years ago in the Roman Empire.
(Be sure to click on each photo – you will see a larger version.)
The little plain cross has rubber bands on it. The purpose of the rubber bands is to hold flowers – flowers brought from people’s homes. Before the services began, the children brought those flowers forward where they put them on the cross – with the help of some of the ladies of the church, of course. In front of their own eyes, the kids created something beautiful from something ugly. It’s pretty enough for families to have their picture taken next to it.
Take a close look at the flower in the center of picture. It grows at our home, though the previous owner planted it. The blooms seem to be on the bush almost all the time, as though it had no season. I have no idea what it is called – nor does the Mystery Guest Blogger.
But we know what it is called in Việt Nam.
It is named “Trang.”
There are two Trangs in this picture – the smiling one is Trang, one of my former students and now an employee with IBM in Sài Gòn. The other trang is, of course, the flower – the same as the one used to beautify the ugly cross.
Even here in deep south Texas, there was a little Việt Nam at Easter – a reminder that Easter is for everybody.