It now feels like Summer is on its way, doesn’t it. The lighter evenings and the sunshine, the trees are almost all in full leaf and the gardens and hedgerows are ablaze with colour, and growth is lush. I was delighted a few evenings ago as I stood washing up in the kitchen, to spot a bat on its round of the night air! I thought the recent housing development next to the Vicarage had scared them away so it was great to see them again.
Nature is such a great metaphor for when it comes to thinking about the church. Now we’re coming to the end of the Easter season and soon it will be Pentecost and the coming of the Holy Spirit to the waiting disciples. Before that day, the disciples were scared and afraid for their lives, lacking in courage and strength. They were lying low, like nature in the dark earth of winter. Life was dull and drab without Jesus. But then, as promised, the Holy Spirit arrived – not in a private moment but in a blaze of flame and wind, full of energy, and filled the disciples with the same. They couldn’t contain themselves and burst out into the streets of Jerusalem amazing the pilgrims gathered there with their ability to speak their language. Each one heard the good news in their own native tongue. The Acts of the Apostles tells us that 3000 were added to their number that day!
It is the work of the Holy Spirit that has enabled us to hear the Gospel in our own time and in our native language. Without their boldness, enthusiasm and sacrifice, and that of the ones who came after them, we wouldn’t know of God’s love for us. I don’t know what I would do without God’s love for me. Knowing how much I am loved gives me self-esteem and self-confidence. It helps me to make the right decision when I remember that it is God to whom I must answer, he is the one who sees my heart, and the promise that Jesus has prepared a place for me in heaven gives me hope for the future. I don’t know how people manage without God.
For us as a church we are in the business of seed sowing. Scattering the seeds of God’s love in our families, communities and beyond. Some seeds take a long time to germinate, some quickly take root and flourish. However we also need to prepare the ground with prayer and attention to Jesus teaching or those seeds won’t take root. All around us we see the fruit of other people’s seeds and I can see many in our church who are blooming now and that is wonderful.
So be bold and confident in your seed sowing. The seeds that we sow now will bring faith and colour and delight to others in the future, enabling them to enjoy the love of God in their lives and sow their seed in turn.
Every blessing as we enjoy the beauty of God’s world.