Ordinary Sunday 16, 23rd July 2017 -Vicar’s Reflection
Life wouldn’t be possible without the benefit of harvesting crops, fruit and vegetables, all of which rely on the cycle of growth. One of the stages of the cycle of growth is the downside: -winter is a time of cold, bleak weather. During this time trees and fields will seem dead. We get the blues from the lack of sunshine and longer hours of darkness. Yet this time is important, it allows for plants to gather the nutrients and resources for further growth when warmth and light return. Nature uses this time to store up reserves and prepare the way for times of growth. The parables of Jesus which feature in our Gospel reading this Sunday from Matthew 13 are all about the natural processes of growth. He urged his hearers to learn from these for they apply to the kingdom of God. Planting, weeding harvesting and pruning are just as important in the life of the church as in a garden. When we look at the life of the church in the world, we may feel that this is a period of winter for God’s kingdom; all the more reason to prepare for the times which will surely come; times of sowing, tending, growth and harvest. We will need to be ready with welcoming hearts, generous hospitality, trained leadership, capable teachers and a nurturing and healing community of faith.