The bloom is on! Rosen School of Hebrew reports that southern Israel is resplendent in red—crown anemones are covering the fields, and “the red south, darom adom (דָּרוֹם אָדוֹם), becomes a huge tourist attraction,” bringing “thousands of people to see this miracle blooming and the beautiful green fields…” Crown anemones are endeared in Israeli hearts, the favorite flower of most citizens, widely considered their National Flower.
While I have never seen the rejoicing red for myself, I can imagine the beauty and the people’s desire to flock to the fields…because we Texans will enjoy the same hysteria in a few weeks when bluebonnets bloom! And I am certain, dear gardener, from wherever you are reading, you have a wildflower frenzy in your region, moving all to take in the delight.
In my mind’s eye, I am overlaying this draw, this incredible attraction to go out and see springtime’s glorious fields, as the same intense excitement that King Hezekiah created among his people, calling them home to Jerusalem to come celebrate the Passover, a holy heritage that had been disgraced by years of lackluster leadership.
Hezekiah sent word to all Israel and Judah and also wrote letters to Ephraim and Manasseh, inviting them to come to the temple of the Lord in Jerusalem and celebrate the Passover to the Lord, the God of Israel… At the king’s command, couriers went throughout Israel and Judah with letters from the king and from his officials, which read: “People of Israel, return to the Lord, the God of Abraham, Isaac and Israel, that he may return to you… If you return to the Lord, then your fellow Israelites and your children will be shown compassion by their captors and will return to this land, for the Lord your God is gracious and compassionate. He will not turn his face from you if you return to him.”
2 Chronicles 30:1, 6, 9 NIV
The king’s enthusiasm was infectious, and many citizens accepted the invitation. Jerusalem became a joy-filled city dedicated in treasured Passover traditions—so much fun that everyone stayed a second week! Hezekiah had prayed for his people, and asked God to restore their seeking hearts, and God heard.
Hezekiah prayed for them, saying, “May the Lord, who is good, pardon everyone who sets their heart on seeking God—the Lord, the God of their ancestors—even if they are not clean according to the rules of the sanctuary.” And the Lord heard Hezekiah and healed the people.
2 Chronicles 30:18-20 NIV
Come to Me
Linger in the delightful longevity of this moment, dear gardener, and connect King Hezekiah’s invitation to “come” to the continued call of God’s Words: His timeless invitation, His forever beckon to be with Him.
Come to his sanctuary, which he has consecrated forever.
2 Chronicles 30:8 NIV
Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.
Matthew 11:28 NIV
“Come,” he said. Then Peter got down out of the boat, walked on the water and came toward Jesus. Matthew 14:29
Jesus said, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.”
Matthew 19:14 NIV
Come with me by yourselves to a quiet place and get some rest.
Mark 6:31 NIV
And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am.
John 14:3 NIV
Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with that person, and they with me.
Revelation 3:20 NIV
Ultimately King Hezekiah’s prayer was answered in Christ—we, too, are “not clean,” as the Israelites knew, and Jesus came to cleanse us of our sins. The miracle, the reality, and the joy of being restored to communion with God, pictured in Hezekiah’s happy community, are the truths we stand in during Lent, that they spread out into life forever. Let faith flourish!
Plant Crown Anemones
Good news, you can plant these flowers, too! Brent and Becky’s Bulbs is my favorite source for crown anemone bulbs, faithful business owners from Gloucester, VA, who work fervently to make sure this is a flourishing world! We will be enjoying their bulbs throughout Lent…wait and see what they have planned in daffodils!
Visit Brent & Becky’s Bulbs
The Spirit and the bride say, “Come!” And let the one who hears say, “Come!” Let the one who is thirsty come; and let the one who wishes take the free gift of the water of life.
Revelation 22:17 NIV
please join me in praying for the salvation of Israel
There was great joy in Jerusalem
2 Chronicles 30:26 NIV
For more information on planting Crown Anemones, see our Plant Guide:
Let Faith Flourish! is a Lenten series on “flowers of the field”— crown anemones, chamomile, narcissus, tulips, lilies, and poppies. In these flower-filled weeks ahead, as our landscapes wake up in spring’s gentle warming and fill with bloom and blossom, may worry be displaced with the Word of the Lord. May the true flourish of the Lenten season be in our faith!
©2018 Shelley S. Cramm
Crown anemone ‘bicolor ‘ from Brent & Becky’s Bulbs blooms in my garden this spring
©2018 Rosen School of Hebrew Beautiful news from the south: Darom Adom
©2017 Shelley S. Cramm
Brilliant magenta anemones at Roger’s Gardens, Newport Beach, CA
Angel statue watches over violet “flowers of the field” at Roger’s Gardens
Crown anemones in full gcolor for sale at Roger’s Gardens