Beauty surrounds us, but we usually need to be walking in a garden to know it - Rumi
On Sunday we celebrated Harvest Festival at St Mary Magdalene. As it was the fourth Sunday in the month the traditional Evensong was replaced with a Celtic style service at which I was asked to give a reflection. I took as my text Mark 4:3-9, the sower scattering the seed for next year's harvest. We sang the familiar harvest hymns, of course. This is my reflection, I hope you enjoy it:
'After putting on a brilliant show of flowers during spring and summer the plants, shrubs and bushes are now getting down to the important business of producing seed to carry on the species. The bright red berries of the firethorn attract the birds who will feed on them during the hard winter to come, whilst the insects, birds and animals will feast on the fallen apples to put on the necessary fat to survive. That way the seeds get distributed, the birds and animals get fed, and the cycle of nature continues.
Now, the aquilegia matures a bit earlier than some plants, indeed the seeds are already swelling in their pods. However, it doesn't wait for you to collect the seeds in a neat little brown envelope to store, so that you can plant them where you want next year. Oh no, it is quite happy for its seed pods to ripen and then explode scattering seeds across the garden! As a result next year there will be lots of little plants growing in every nook and cranny whether you want them there or not!
Jesus' audience would have understood His parable of scattering seeds, some falling on stony ground whilst others fell on fertile soil. They would have understood, too, the symbolism of God's Word as seed.
Now since God works through us, it is our job to till the soil, mulch it properly, plant the seed, which is the Word of God, and care for it. After all, there are many in the world who need to come to hear His Word. We are called, then, to imitate the aquiliegia plant by spreading the Good News, enthusiastically and joyfully so that God's message gets into every nook and cranny of the world. Only that way will even more people come to accept Jesus Christ as their Lord and Saviour.'
Peter is a father and a grandfather who has been retired from full time employment for a number of years