You who dwell in the garden with friends in attendance,let me hear your voice.
Song of Songs 8:13
The work on the garden is complete. The lawn is laid and the paving stones are firmly in place. There is a pleasant place to sit to soak up the sun – if we ever get any! Whilst all the work has been going on we have rather lost sight of what else needs doing in the garden. Since the lads have left we can see that the clematis needs tying in, the forsythia needs pruning, the firethorn needs cutting back or it will not produce berries for the birds this coming winter, and so on. In concentrating on the major work we have lost sight of the other bits and pieces that need attention. But we have also failed to see that the birds and animals have been getting on with their daily lives too.
Perhaps our lives are a bit like that. Are we too concerned with what seems important to us at the time? Does that stop us from looking around? Are we so caught up in the minutiae of everyday life that we cannot see what is before our eyes? In this week’s Lectionary reading, (Luke 24:13-35), the two disciples on their way from Jerusalem to Emmaus met up with a stranger along the way. However, because they were so tied up in their own world, their own thoughts, doubts, problems they did not recognise him. It was only when Jesus broke bread with them at their evening meal that they understood who their companion had been. They realised that Christ was not dead, He had risen! He was there walking the road beside them. Despite the lateness of the hour their first instinct was to rush back to Jerusalem to tell their fellow disciples the wonderful news.
When we stood in the kitchen the other day, mugs of coffee in hand, looking out at the garden planning our next move, we saw something rather strange. Two sparrows were dancing round each other on the lawn – well, to be precise one appeared to be dancing round the other. Whatever was going on? We eventually worked out that the dancer was the mother bird who was trying to teach her offspring how to forage for food for himself. Had we not paused to look out at that particular moment we would have missed seeing them, for as quickly as they had arrived they flew off again. God was there in those little birds, in that little display; but we nearly did not see it.
So, what prevents us from recognising God’s presence in our lives? What steps can we take to open our eyes to see Jesus in whatever disguise He takes on? Where did you see God today?
Let us open our eyes to see God and to recognise that He is always with us. He will walk with us, wherever we may go or whatever problems beset us. As the disciples discovered Christ is not dead, He has risen as He promised He would! Thanks be to God!
Peter is a father and a grandfather who has been retired from full time work for a number of years