If possible, hold the meeting in a flower garden setting. If held indoors, have a PowerPoint running displaying a variety of beautiful lilies. Decorate a table in the front of the room with a pretty tablecloth and a vase with wild flowers and lilies of the valley.
Choral Reading: #868, The Salvation Army Song Book
Woman #1: I’ve found a friend in Jesus, He’s everything to me,
Woman #2: He’s the fairest of ten thousand to my soul.
All: He’s the Lily of the Valley, in Him alone I see
All I need to cleanse and make me fully whole.
Woman #3: In sorrow He’s my comfort, in trouble He’s my stay,
Woman #4: He tells me every care on Him to roll.
All: He’s the lily of the valley, the bright and morning star,
He’s the fairest of ten thousand to my soul.
Women # 1, 2, 3, & 4: “I am a rose of Sharon, a lily of the Valley.” Song of Solomon 2:1 (NIV)
Invite the women to sing this hymn. The words and music can be found on YouTube.
Floating Flower Centerpiece
Ask the women to bring a clear glass vase or jar to the meeting. Have available glass stones, small rocks, extra jars, ribbon and water. Use fresh or silk flowers for this activity. Simple instructions can be found at http://www.shelterness.com/25-floating-flowers-and-candles-centerpieces/ and at http://www.pinterest.com.
Wrap several gifts that have a flower theme to be given as door prizes. Ask the winners to share a way in which they are growing in the grace of the Lord. Allow other women in the group who would like to share in this way to participate.
Celebrating the Garden of God’s Grace
May is a beautiful time of the year. Late spring flowers are in bloom across the country. The lily of the valley flower also blossoms during this time of the year. Many beautiful comparisons have been made between the beauty of the lily of the valley flower and the beauty of Christ. In the Song of Solomon 2:1 (NIV), Christ’s breathtaking nature is captured. He is pictured as the “Rose of Sharon and the Lily of the Valley.” His beautiful, divine essence is also described in His many titles such as “Creator,” (John 1:3) “Dayspring,” (Luke 1:78, NKJV) and “the Bright Morning Star” (Revelation 22:16).
Garden settings are popular locations to hold celebrations. Flower gardens teem with life. Their fragrance and beauty surpass anything made by man. In Matthew 6:28, 29 (NIV) Jesus spoke of the unmatched splendor of wild flowers when He said, “And why worry about your clothing? Look at the lilies of the field and how they grow. They don’t work or make their clothing, yet Solomon in all his glory was not dressed as beautifully as they are.”
Do you remember the first time you planted a flower bulb or a pack of seeds and waited for the plants to appear? Bulbs and seeds are ugly, often hard, dead-looking things. This first stage in their development does not resemble in any way the lovely flower it will become. Without God’s redeeming grace we too are hard–hearted, dead in our sin. “For everyone has sinned; we all fall short of God’s glorious standard. Yet God, in His grace, freely makes us right in His sight. He did this through Christ Jesus when He freed us from the penalty for our sins” (Rom. 3: 23, 24).
Sin entered the Garden of Eden causing the fall of mankind and interrupting God’s plan for His creation. Despite Adam’s and Eve’s sin it wasn’t the end of their lives. We can celebrate because God chose not to leave us hopeless. Instead He made a way for us to be at one with Him by sending His Son to be our Savior. Jesus died for our sins and rose from the grave—not because we deserve it or earned it. It is His free gift to us.
In the July 2014 issue of Premier Christianity magazine, Senior Editor, Justin Brierley, wrote a profile article about the son of pastor and author Rick Warren of the USA Saddleback Church of over 20,000 members. Warren’s youngest son, Matthew committed suicide at 27 years of age after battling depression and suffering from mental illness his entire life. Rick describes his son as “a really brilliant kid with a tender heart but a tortured mind.” Pastor Warren said that when Matthew died he received 5,000 letters of condolences from around the world. Everyone wrote from rock stars and prime ministers to presidents. “But the ones that meant the most to me,” he writes, “weren’t from the VIPs; they were the letters from people that Matthew had led to faith in Christ.” The letters said, “I’m going to heaven because your son brought me to Jesus.” Rick Warren wrote in his journal: “In God’s garden of grace, even broken trees bear fruit.” Pastor Warren adds, “And we are all broken. God only uses broken people.”
We are all dead in our sin—exactly why we need God’s grace. “The Word became human and made His home among us. He was full of unfailing love and faithfulness. And we have seen His glory, the glory of the Father’s one and only Son” (John 1:14). As we think of Jesus, the Lily of the Valley, let’s join together to celebrate the magnificent reality of God’s grace.