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Signs of Life

Every day for the last few weeks I have been out in thIMG0989 2IMG0989 2e garden to see if the small selection of vegetables that I have planted have grown. And every day I have been greeted with the same discouraging news - bare earth.  I was just beginning to think that the plan was not working and that the seeds would never come though; that I was not a very good gardener.IMG0989
But then today the first shoots have appeared. A little row of lettuces, some carrots and some beans. The courgettes are still in hiding but we have high hopes. Even the children wanted to go and see what we growing. There was great excitement in the air; today I am encouraged.
At St Mary Magdalene there are some wonderful signs of life.
  • On Easter Sunday a number of people came to know Jesus for the first time. What struck me was the number of people who had been involved in their story along the way.
  • For each of the last two Sundays we have had an attendance of 13 people at the quiet traditional 9am service
  • Over 30 people have joined us in the last 8 months and I am continually amazed that people just keep on visiting and then staying.
The first shoots of new life are appearing in the church.
The veg patch in which I have planted out the seeds is small. But across the rest of the garden amazing things are happening and all I have to do is keep watch. There have been bluebells and daffodils, roses are just beginning to bud and many other things are blossoming and growing (most of which I don't know that name of). Some of these things have clearly been planted intentionally by my predecessors, and I am so grateful to them because we continue to enjoy them. Some of the plants have just arrived, blown in by the wind, brought in by the birds. It is growing and alive. All I have to do is a little watering and a little pruning. But most of all I have to keep watch and enjoy the fruit of a garden coming to life.
As we celebrate these signs of life in the church and ask God to do more we should also recognise what is happening. Some of the growth is structured and planned. This takes place both in the long term with all of the seeds that have been planted in this place over generations. But also more recently with freshly prepared soil ready for new seed. Whereas other growth is organic and surprising. The Holy Spirit draws people in and suddenly they encounter the God who loves them.
  • Keep sowing seeds into the lives of people around you.
  • Keep looking for the signs of life in the church.
  • Be encouraged, the risen Jesus is at work amongst us.
God bless


Mark Searle, 05/05/2011