Sunday, April 24, 2011

Alleluia! He Is Risen

“He Is Risen Indeed! Alleluia!” (Matthew 28:1-10)

Now after the Sabbath, toward the dawn of the first day of the week, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went to see the tomb. And behold, there was a great earthquake, for an angel of the Lord descended from heaven and came and rolled back the stone and sat on it. His appearance was like lightning, and his clothing white as snow. And for fear of him the guards trembled and became like dead men. But the angel said to the women, “Do not be afraid, for I know that you seek Jesus who was crucified. He is not here, for he has risen, as he said. Come, see the place where he lay. Then go quickly and tell his disciples that he has risen from the dead, and behold, he is going before you to Galilee; there you will see him. See, I have told you.” So they departed quickly from the tomb with fear and great joy, and ran to tell his disciples. And behold, Jesus met them and said, “Greetings!” And they came up and took hold of his feet and worshiped him. Then Jesus said to them, “Do not be afraid; go and tell my brothers to go to Galilee, and there they will see me.”

My dogwood tree is in bloom and since it is Easter a short version of the legend of the Dogwood tree must be told;

At the time of Crucifixion the dogwood had been the size of the oak and other forest trees. So firm and strong was the tree that it was chosen as the timber for the cross. To be used thus for such a cruel purpose greatly distressed the tree, and Jesus nailed upon it, sensed this.

In His gentle pity for all sorrow and suffering Jesus said to the tree:

" Because of your regret and pity for My suffering, never again shall the dogwood tree grow large enough to be used as a cross. Henceforth it shall be slender and bent and twisted and its blossoms shall be in the form of a cross--two long and two short petals. And in the center of the outer edge of each petal there will be nail prints, brown with rust and stained with red, and in the center of the flower will be a crown of thorns, and all who see it will remember."

Which brings us to the legal status of dogwood trees and can you legally cut them. As a child my parents always told me you could not legally cut Dogwood Trees. The Dogwood is the official State tree for the U.S. Commonwealth of Virginia and the state tree of Missouri, it is the state flower of North Carolina. I have found nothing that says you can not cut the tree but "Tree law" is a bizarrely complex part of the legal system. Plus in some some states Dogwood are considered endangered and threatened which makes the issue even more complex. The good news is most laws pertain to the wild Dogwood not Flowering Dogwood you use for decoration on your property. Realistically, like dumping trash on a country road, you can cut it and no one is going to bother you (unless the tree police spot you). I have never seen a developer not cut every tree on property he or she is developing, dogwood or not dogwood. In all cases you can "Trim" the tree to keep the tree healthy. As to what the real legal answer is in Virginia, Delaware or Maryland I really do not know, so voice your opinion, or leaf it alone, or branch out and spruce up the topic.

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