Thought for the Day : Saturday 11 April

Thought for the Day from Richard Barton All Hallows:

Readings: Hosea 6: 1-6 and John 2:18-22

Seeds of Hope

Many people during the lockdown have taken advantage of doing more gardening and at this time of year that will often include seed sowing. I don’t know if I am unusual but I take a disproportionate delight in seeing seeds germinate. I have been sewing lots of seeds since February, flowers and vegetables, and seeing a dry, seemingly lifeless, form that is buried in soil emerge into a green seedling, to me is truly amazing.

Today we are between the horror and brutality of the crucifixation, the death of Christ, and the wondrous and miraculous joy of the resurrection tomorrow on Easter Sunday. I doubt that any of Jesus disciples or followers understood it, let alone believed it but Jesus had predicted his death and rising from the dead earlier. In our reading from Johns gospel after turning over the money changers tables in his anger at the total travesty of turning Gods house the temple into a place where the poor are cheated, Jesus says “tear down this temple and I will rebuild it in three days!” Given his outburst against the temple, the priests assumed he was being literal! But he was talking about his life death and resurrection in metaphor. You will destroy me, but in three days I will rise again.

Jesus as the seed that is dead and buried, but germinates and the seedling of the risen Christ emerging from death, is an image that for me that is hopeful and makes sense. In fact there is a lot of botany in the gospels. Jesus talked  a lot about plants and indeed about seed. Seed the sower spread over the land as the word of God and where it fell on good soil it germinated and grew well. The flowers of fields that do not have to toil and yet are more beautiful than king Solomon’s splendour. The mustard seed that grows and becomes a tree like the kingdom of God. And of course the garden where Jesus body is laid and where he is first seen by the women on Easter Sunday morning and mistaken for the gardener, someone who nurtures growth and new life.

So in these times when it is perhaps hard to take on board the message of Easter, when we are perhaps not able to see loved ones or get out into the world. Plant some seeds, watch them germinate and know that what seems dead is just biding its time and will germinate. In Christ we know that life has overcome death. Halleluiah in advance!

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