"April showers bring May flowers." What do May flowers bring? Pilgrims! And antique puns.
"Mother, May I?" is a children's game with many variations. "Children" ask the "mother" if they can perform a certain movement. The mother says, "Yes, you may" or "No, you may not, but you may do such-and-such." The goal of one variation is to be the child closest to the mother at game's end.
Maia, Roman goddess of springtime, gave this month its name. Her name means "She who is great," from the Latin word Magnus, "great or powerful." She is also called Maiesta or "Majesty." She sits on Mt. Olympus, clothed in gold and purple. Maiesta was the powerful mother-goddess of Earth, growth, fertility, and heat. In reality, she sits in the temple of tall stories.
The great and powerful God created the earth and its plants with a mere few words: "And God said, 'Let the earth sprout vegetation, plants yielding seed, and fruit trees bearing fruit in which is their seed, each according to its kind, on the earth.' And it was so" (Genesis 1:11). As creator, He is owner: "The heavens are yours; the earth also is yours; the world and all that is in it, you have founded them" (Psalm 89:11).
As caretaker, God causes the sun to shine and the plants to grow. He makes the planet fruitful or barren. Jacob blessed his son Joseph thus: "Blessed by the LORD be his land, with the choicest gifts of heaven above, and of the deep that crouches beneath, with the choicest fruits of the sun and the rich yield of the months, with the finest produce of the ancient mountains and the abundance of the everlasting hills, with the best gifts of the earth and its fullness" (Deuteronomy 33:16). It is the blessing of a gracious God, not a mythical Mommy, that brings the seasons and sustenance.
Speaking of the heavenly Father's generous bounty, Jesus noted, "For he makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust" (Matthew 5:45).
God's majesty is reflected in creation: "Yours, O LORD, is the greatness and the power and the glory and the victory and the majesty, for all that is in the heavens and in the earth is yours. Yours is the kingdom, O LORD, and you are exalted as head above all" (1 Chronicles 29:11). "The LORD reigns; he is robed in majesty; the LORD is robed; he has put on strength as his belt. Yes, the world is established; it shall never be moved" (Psalm 93:1).
Gold and purple are indeed royal colors, and there is no shortage of them in representing the Lord. The tabernacle and temple were garnished with gold and purple (Exodus 25:3-4; 2 Chronicles 2:7). The priest's ephod was spectacular (Exodus 28:6). Solomon's chariot had "posts of silver, its back of gold, its seat of purple" (Song of Solomon 3:10). Even the pagan king of Persia decked his palace with gold and purple (Esther 1:6; Esther 8:15).
A Greek goddess also named Maia was the mother of Hermes, god of tricksters and thieves. God has a son, Jesus, the God of truth (John 14:6). Jesus is also the resurrection and the life (John 11:25). The life Jesus offers is not restricted to any season; it is available now, no matter where you are or what weather you are experiencing. "Behold, now is the favorable time; behold, now is the day of salvation" (2 Corinthians 6:2).
As May flowers turn to the sun, God invites you to turn to his son for light, life, and truth. Mother May cannot give you eternal life, but Jesus Christ died, was buried, and came back to life "that everyone who sees the Son and believes in Him may have everlasting life; and I will raise him up at the last day" (John 6:40). All you need do to get close to Father God is ask, "Father, may I?"
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