by Margaret Baker; Team Vicar
Driving through the countryside earlier in the year, I saw fields of growing crops: wheat and barley, and I knew that in a few months’ time, without much further effort, the harvest would be ready. Yet I knew better than that to assume that all this growth just happens without any effort at all.
Earlier in the year the earth would have been turned over and prepared for sowing. At first, the long strips of land would have looked bare and dark, not much of a promise, we might think. But then, after the first spring rains, the fields would begin to turn green, the land changing colour in the course of a few days. Over the following months, little by little, the crop would continue to grow and the grain would begin to appear. As the grain ripens the farmer would get ready to bring in the harvest, and there would be a lot of work after that, before the grain was turned into bread or cereal for our breakfast tables.
All of this is a reminder to me of God’s word which, often seemingly unobserved, does its work in our lives, for our benefit, and to produce a harvest. In the words from Isaiah 55: 10-13:
As the rain and the snow come down from heaven, and do not return to it without watering the earth and making it bud and flourish, so that it yields seed for the sower and bread for the eater, so is my word that goes out from my mouth: it will not return to me empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it.
You will go out in joy and be led forth in peace; the mountains and hills will burst into song before you, and all the trees of the field will clap their hands. Instead of the thorn-bush will grow the juniper, and instead of briers the myrtle will grow. This will be for the Lord’s renown for an everlasting sign, that will endure for ever.’
Growth sometimes involves very hard work, and yet at other times it is almost a leisurely spectacle for us to enjoy. In my reflecting, I wonder how it will be for us in our community of the Rivers Team and the life of the church? Where are the places of prepared soil? Where seeds are waiting to sprout? Where do we enjoy the colours of growth and the promise of blessing?
Maybe we can find growth within ourselves in the light of Jesus and shine with evermore beauty and with the promise of blessing and of a harvest.