Weekly Reflection – Green Shoots of Growth

24 May 2024

I’m writing this missive whilst on annual leave, which I realise is something of an oxymoron. You can tell that I’m on leave because the weather, which had been gloriously sunny and warm over the preceding few days, has now taken a turn for the worse; my apologies to you all for jinxing things. Nonetheless, determined to wage war on the weeds I found myself earlier standing in the middle of what can only be described as a jungle, secateurs in hand and a feeling of dread in the pit of my stomach as I realised quite how much work would be required to transform the wilderness into something approaching a garden. I am, alas, cursed with gangrene fingers when it comes to gardening.

It is a wonderful mystery how the natural world comes alive during Spring. The signs of growth are everywhere; green shoots are springing forth; Nature appears to be rushing headlong into a time of abundance. The energy is almost palpable. And my garden, wild though it currently is, is also expanding and growing almost by the minute.

In the liturgical calendar we are now in the season of ‘ordinary time’, a season where the clergy wear green vestments just as the trees wear green leaves. The Sundays and weekdays of ‘ordinary time’ – the parts of the Church year that don’t fall within a particular season or festival – form a time for spiritual growth and development for Christians and are an opportunity to dwell more fully in the mystery of Christ and delve deeper into the history of salvation. These weeks form a kind of liturgical breathing space where the focus is not on a particular event or person but more an overview of the mission and ministry of Jesus Christ.

So, just as nature is springing forth around us, how might we spiritually grow and develop? Well, how about spending time reading through part of the Bible? It could be a book that you know well, or one that you barely remember; a book that speaks to you personally, or one that you find hard to get your teeth into. But whichever part of the Bible you choose, spend some time with it. Read it and chew over the words. Read around it – there are many guides and commentaries available both in print and online to help you discern the layers of meaning. And then pray in the light of what you’ve read. This is but one way to come to know Christ a little better, but it is a way to grow and expand your understanding of what God is doing for us in the world and throughout history. So, take a leaf out of Nature’s book this Spring and spend some time with God through holy scripture. You won’t regret it!

In Christ,
Canon Kathryn

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Wakefield Cathedral

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