From the Minister
From the Minister
This month sees the official start of Springtime and even as I write this, signs of new life are all around in the garden. I love watching for the first hint of bulbs after the winter and seeing green spikes materialise all over the garden. It never ceases to amaze me how the corms remain hidden in the ground all year and yet sense the right time to produce shoots, leaves and flowers.
A few years ago I had the opportunity to watch a bulb up close as I tried to bring on an Amaryllis. I remember from childhood the bold spikes of flowers, but the bulb that I planted produced leaves, but no flower spike. I wondered if it was an old bulb that had not had the chance to grow and flower in previous years and therefore to store up the energy it needed for this season.
Bulbs need the chance to gather energy and they do this as the leaves continue to collect nutrients after the flower has faded. This energy is then stored in the bulb enabling it to flower the following year – no time to gather energy equals no flower, just like my poor amaryllis!
Our faith is a bit like a bulb in that we too need time to be fed as well as spending time giving out to others. If we don’t stop regularly to pray and make time to meet frequently to share in worship and bible study then we find ourselves with nothing to draw on; exhausted and empty with no joy to show. Jesus knew this which was why he established a pattern of sending the disciples out, then gathering them together; allowing them time to be taught and to share their own experiences away from the crowd.
The season of Lent provides us with the space and opportunity to find different ways of being fed in our faith. Many churches offer extra Lent courses or reflective services to deepen discipleship and some cancel all business meetings to allow time for being rather than doing, holding Quiet Days to focus on our spiritual wellbeing. In some churches there are no flowers during Lent and pictures and statues are covered as a way of enabling us to focus on our inner thoughts and reflections. Lent isn’t just about austerity, it is a time to draw in the nourishment of God’s love and to store up the strength to equip our faith through the year.
May this Lent be a time nourishment and restoration for you!