I have always loved gardening and like nothing better than watching nature spin it’s magic over the summer months transforming bare twigs into bursts of colourful blooms. However whilst all this activity is going on it is sometimes easy to forget the grass – that great expanse which ‘fills in’ the space between the perhaps more exciting borders. And I think it is fair to say that over the past two years I had ‘forgotten’ the Rectory grass, and its decline reflected my lack of attention. When I looked at it, it had become very thin and the moss had started to take over!
So about a month ago I decided to do something about it. I avoided the usual ‘Weed N Feed’, afraid I would end up with a black expanse of dead moss in front of the house… and instead bought two bags entitled ‘Grass Feed with Moss Suppressor’! I sprinkled it on liberally before a day of rain and waited…. Well, within a week – what a difference! My grass has rebounded with a green lushness and healthy enthusiasm that fills my heart with joy!
And now, as I look out on my green grass, I remember that we are, in the Church’s year, also in the Green Time… or Ordinary time. I wear green robes when I celebrate the Eucharist and there are green accoutrements in the church. It is the time of slow and steady growth. Or so we hope. Because rather like my grass it is sometimes easy to forget to feed our spiritual life – and instead to take things for granted… perhaps settling for a more ‘thin spirituality’ or one that is gradually getting bogged down with worldly moss without us realising it. Like my grass, our faith, our spirituality needs our attention now and then.
And feeding our spiritual life doesn’t have to be too onerous or difficult. It could be reading a spiritual book… taking a different approach to prayer… having more intentional conversations about theological issues… keeping a journal… reflecting on where you are at the moment. I have a library of books and also time to mull things over with you if any of you wish to share your ponderings.
It is also good that in this Green Time of growth we also celebrate Harvest Festival, this year on October 4th. This is just one day when we all take time to stop and recognise the growth that has taken place in the natural world… to thank God for all his goodness… and to reflect on the blessings God has given us. And perhaps it is also a moment when we can take stock spiritually… considering what has happened over the past year and kindly wondering where we are in our relationship with God right now. And then rather like the farmer who goes on to prepare the ground for future planting, we too can apply a little fertiliser to our spiritual life if that is what we feel it needs for our future growth.
Jesus often used imagery of growth and farming to illustrate theological truths – and I like that – especially as we live surrounded by so much farm land here in East Lothian. Jesus tells the parable of the sower (Mark 4: 1 -9)…. he likens the kingdom of God to someone scattering seed on the ground (Mark 4: 26 – 29)… he talks often about his followers being like good trees who bear good fruit. (Luke 6: 43 – 45)…. and Jesus also refers to himself as the True Vine. There are so many more references and we are blessed that living here we can relate to such sayings first hand. Let us this October, give thanks to God for all of God’s blessings… for the growth we have experienced… for the growth we can hope for this coming year… and for the knowledge that God continues to feed us and tend to us… working with us so that we can produce good fruit and a wonderful harvest.
With love, Liz
with love, Liz