Lent, Lincoln and Roses. How are they related?

Lent, Lincoln and Roses. How are they related? March 4, 2024

Abraham Lincoln CanvaPro
Abraham Lincoln
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Lent, Lincoln and Roses. How are they related?

“We can complain because rose bushes have thorns, or we can rejoice because thorn bushes have roses.” Abraham Lincoln

The Gift of Roses and Thorns

A rose is such a beautiful sight. 

Their smell, their colors, give great delight. 

To see a rose is to see nature sing. 

The notes are beautiful and clear, like hearing the angels sing. 

 

Their colors can vary and have great meaning. 

To love, to be friends, to be kind or to help someone grieving. 

One thing about roses, they all do have thorns. 

They are there to remind us about life with its twists, turns and storms. 

 

We may struggle and be put to the test. 

But even in that time you can truly be blessed. 

Find the rose in the midst of your life thorns.

To help you see that when all may  seem to be lost, beauty can be found. 

On this day on March 4, 1861, Abraham Lincoln was sworn in as the 16th president of the United States. This was a quite important event in history.

I am a bit of a history buff.  I try to read a history fact just about daily. When the subject of Abraham Lincoln was in the history facts, I immediately thought about Lent, and a very famous speech by Lincoln. It was Called the “House Divided” Speech. You may be familiar with the famous words he uttered, “A house divided against itself, cannot stand.”  You may ask, Why did I bring these two ideas together? For a few very interesting and important reasons. Earlier today some news happened across my social media feed. As I read the headline and heard the pundits make their commentary about the story of the day, I shook my head and said a little prayer.

After that, I decided to read a little bit about the quotes of Abraham Lincoln. He both uttered, expounded and lived some quite important life lessons. After thinking about the odious article, I thought that there are times that it just seems that currently our society is truly a house divided against itself.  You can read the entire speech here.

https://www.abrahamlincolnonline.org/lincoln/speeches/house.htm

 

To expand on roses, Lent, and Lincoln, we need to see where he found his inspiration. While Lincoln never really declared himself a devout Christian, he did praise the tenets that were put forth from the Bible. Where did he find the inspiration for the words that he spoke about a house divided?  From Jesus himself. Jesus was brought to a demon possessed young man. He prayed for the young man and cast out the demons. After that miracle, the religious sects attacked him as a demon casting out demons. Rather than seeing that this young man was relieved and healed. They saw the thorns and complained about those prickly thorny buggers to anyone that would listen. In other words, they saw the thorns rather than the roses.

It was at that moment that Jesus uttered the words, “Every kingdom divided against itself is brought to desolation, and every city or house divided against itself will not stand. If Satan casts out Satan, he is divided against himself. How then will this kingdom stand?” Matthew 12:25-26

https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Matthew%2012%3A22-28&version=NKJV

In this time of Lent, we are trying to forge a closer path to God. That may be through giving up certain foods or activities that we love in hopes that we will become more like the character of Jesus. In hearing the news today, and seeing the reaction of the pundits,a thought was planted in my head. Lincoln had the right idea, he saw the roses in the midst of the thorns. He found the beauty and the ways in which people can celebrate what brings them together.  If you wish to read more about Lincoln his very inspiring yet sad life story is well worth a read. https://www.whitehouse.gov/about-the-white-house/presidents/abraham-lincoln/

How do we do this? Honestly, it is hard when life rolls along with its trials and tribulations. Then we add the observance of Lent, and we have to live life? Also, read some news or hear about the world? That is a lot. So what can we do? First, we must pray that we can see the roses amongst the thorns. What does that mean? Exactly as it says. Let’s not focus on what tears us apart but rather the beauty that can be in any given situation. My husband and I often watch a particular commentary show of someone that is pretty much on the opposite spectrum that we are on politically. The reason we do so is to understand what is going on during the zeitgeist of the moment.

Also, it is so very much needed to hear another perspective to know, to understand, (or try to understand) where the other person is coming from. One phrase that the political pundit utters regularly is: “We have to start talking to each other again, on both sides of the aisle. Rather than assuming that this person is bad because he is affiliated with this party.” That sentiment is so very true. Often I assume so much about a situation from the outside, when truly on the inside I have no clue as to the struggle each person is enduring.

Further, our little show that we watch the host constantly says, “If we actually talk with the intention to hear and try to understand… well, we might have more in common than we think.” These words are so very true. You can find some encouraging prayers for Lent that will help us to sharpen our spirit and attitude. https://www.crosswalk.com/faith/prayer/a-prayer-for-lent.html

How often do we look at a person or life even and react with judgment or skepticism like we read above? Or, do we take a moment and see that rose that brings us together in the midst of thorns? Lent is the perfect opportunity to grow closer to the character of God through an understanding and teachable spirit. Much like Lincoln, I don’t want a divided house. I bet a lot of folks don’t want that either. When we see any given situation we have the choice to see the thorns on the rose bushes or the roses in the thorn bushes. This change in thinking can bring a firmer foundation to a house that can stand.

Finally, I pray dear readers that you will sing your song of life with beauty rather than division. Some other Lent musings that I wrote. https://www.patheos.com/blogs/positivepensees/2024/02/lent-is-here-remind-me-how-to-make-it-until-easter/


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