March Blog – Women's Ministry

What does attending an Easter Service look like? Why come?

The path was dry and dusty by the drainage ditch as they rode their bikes across the bumps. Ants crawled busily, going in and out of their nests everywhere across the brownish-red dirt. Curiously, there were also small shells along the path as well. Stopping to gather a collection of shells by the drainage ditch was a normal occurrence.

On this quiet fall day, a few stray plants lay at the edges of the field next to the ditch in the already-harvested cotton fields where they would most likely spend the winter – the same place they had been planted and grown. The other plants had been harvested and processed into large bales of white cotton. Some bales were previously loaded, and some were ready to be sent out and made into something greater.

Declan's family rested and talked about how a couple of months earlier, it had been weeks since it had rained during the summer months and they had been concerned about the cotton growing. Many of their church friends had farmland bordering their small Oklahoma town.

The growth of the plants had not been even half as tall as normal by mid-July. They remembered the ground was cracked and needed water, as well as the surrounding lakes and even the lawn in Declan’s front yard needed the nourishment of rain. Flowers had dried up; there were intense days of heat and sometimes it took a lot of effort to even play outside, of course, unless you were swimming! Many days had been over 105 degrees.

The summer went on. Then September, harvest time, which was just a couple of weeks earlier. The dusty fields were left for the winter with the straggling stands of occasional plants. Declan wondered what would happen to the cotton that was harvested and what would happen to the plants still standing. He was curious too, about how the plant produced cotton. So, Declan and his family looked up what happens to cotton and found this:

“About 2 months after planting, flower buds, called squares, appear on the plant. Three weeks later the blossoms open. The petals change colors as they mature. First, they are creamy white. Then they turn yellow, then pink, and finally, dark red. After three days the red flowers wither and fall, leaving green pods called cotton bolls. … Moist fibers grow and push out from the newly formed seeds. As the boll ripens, it turns brown. The fibers continue to expand in the warm sun. Finally, they split the boll apart, and the fluffy cotton bursts out. Once harvested the cotton goes through a process of refining the cotton from the boll and the seed from the fiber. Once everything is refined for its future purpose the cotton is spun into thread. The thread is woven into cloth on looms, then the rolls of clothes are sold to clothing manufacturers to make jeans, shirts, dresses and other clothing items.”*

Declan and his family talked about how the dryness affected the cotton’s growth, but there had still been a harvest that produced valuable cotton that could be refined into something new. Then a thought occurred to them – when we are not in God’s word we can go through a spiritually dry time in our lives. Just like the land had been dry. And there are those who don’t hear or don’t believe in God, and they are left out, just like the stalks in the field that weren’t harvested. They talked about how cotton grows, gets harvested and refined for a new purpose. Which is similar to when we choose to believe in Jesus. Our hearts are changed, through learning about God, He refines us, and we are given a new purpose. In addition, we receive forgiveness and eternal life.

In the end, Declan concluded, “If we don’t feed ourselves with the Word of God, we’ll be hungry and thirsty.”

What does Easter look like and why come? Transformation, learning, refinement, new or renewed life and a new purpose. Come and join us, bring a friend or family member who might not normally get to attend and see how God feeds them, grows them, refines them over time and gives them a new purpose.


- Traci Hollingsworth and Declan Egli