Sermon Illustrations

THE STORY OF THE FLOWERS - Graveside Committal Service

Earl Wheatley of Meridian, Mississippi, shared a funeral observance that has proved quite effective. Before the funeral he tells the funeral director that he needs three flowers: a red one, a white one and a yellow one.

These three flowers are removed from the flower arrangements on the way to the graveside. He holds all three in his hand as he talks until he explains the meaning of each one. At the conclusion of each explanation, he places the flower on the casket. His presentation goes like this:

Most of us no longer know the significance of the flowers that are displayed around us today. We are all aware that the rose is noted for its beauty, and we also know it is given as a symbol of human love. We know that we give other flowers also as gifts of love, but we have lost the special meanings of each of the special blossoms.

In generations past, each and every flower was important not only for the beauty it displayed, but also for the special meaning that particular flower was given to convey. In days past, when people wanted to send a message of good cheer, they would send a daisy. The smiling, sunny face of the flower immediately gave the message of happiness.

When a lover would go away on a journey, he would send his beloved a forget-me-not, a beautiful blue flower widely considered as the emblem of faithfulness. Thus the forget-me-not was sent not only for its beauty, but also as a plea for love and remembrance while the couple were apart.

For those of us in the Christian faith, the colors of the flowers have special import.

We use red flowers as a reminder of the shed blood of Jesus Christ, showing us again the unspeakable love of God who gave his Son while we were yet sinners.

We choose white flowers to...

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