Saturday, April 20, 2019
The sun set on God’s Friday and with it the hopes and dreams of those who had embraced Jesus as beloved Teacher and Messiah. The next day dawned but Jesus was dead. His friends and family were in mourning, hiding and frightened of repercussions because of their association with the Crucified. As an Easter people, we know what happens next in the story. We know what it means to be blessed, nurtured and empowered by God’s Spirit to witness to the Resurrection, within a world that is yearning to be planted with ‘good news’.
The symbol for “Seeds of Grace”, St. Helen’s Lenten Devotional for 2019, is a samara. A red maple celebrates the spring firstly with flowing sap, then the maple flowers ‘bloom’, leaves stretch to the sun and finally the samaras appear. Maple samaras, or maple keys, occur in distinctive pairs each containing one seed enclosed in a “nutlet” attached to a flattened wing of fibrous, papery tissue. They are shaped to spin as they fall and to carry the seeds a considerable distance from the parent tree on the wind; whirling like so many miniature helicopters. Seed maturation is usually a few weeks after flowering, with seed dispersal shortly after maturity. One tree can release hundreds of thousands of seeds at a time. Working in concert with our Creator, birds, animals, even human beings often take part in the growth from seed to maturity. Apparently the seeds are even edible for humans, though not for horses!
“Listen! A sower went out to sow…When anyone hears the word of the kingdom and does not understand it, the evil one comes and snatches away what is sown in the heart; this is what was sown on the path. As for what was sown on rocky ground, this is the one who hears the word and immediately receives it with joy; yet such a person has no root, but endures only for a while, and when trouble or persecution arises on account of the word, that person immediately falls away.As for what was sown among thorns, this is the one who hears the word, but the cares of the world and the lure of wealth choke the word, and it yields nothing.But as for what was sown on good soil, this is the one who hears the word and understands it, who indeed bears fruit and yields, in one case a hundredfold, in another sixty, and in another thirty.” Matthew Chapter 13
I pray that “Seeds of
Grace” has nurtured growth in you during this Lenten season! Perhaps there are a few spiritual sprouts
not visible before; perhaps ‘plants’ have matured and are ready to bear fruit!
I encourage you to persevere in the spiritual disciplines, to take
opportunities to deepen your faith and to share your love of God with others,
as we do the work of ministry in Christ’s Name and to God’s glory! Blessings,