The Digest, our Parish magazine, comes out monthly. Here are a couple of articles from August’s edition. To read more, pick up a copy from Church when you are next there.
I love gardening. This year I feel a bit bereft, because I didn’t plant any vegetables in the spring. But we have been so blessed with the vegetable and fruit fairies (I don’t know who they are, although I have my suspicions! So a huge thank you, whoever you are!).
Last summer I was having problems with my runner beans. Some of my beans rampaged up their bamboo canes and did really well….whilst others really struggled. Some were attacked or eaten, and one disappeared altogether. Yet, I had given them all the same amount of care, compost and water, so all I could do was sit and watch and wait. I couldn’t make my beans grow better.
Some beans took a long time to surface, some beans flourished and some beans really struggled whilst others shot up then disappeared altogether…could this be a bit like us?
I may have lost the skill (my bean) to do gymnastics…and I would be crazy to try…As a child I was painfully shy, (that bean probably wouldn’t have even poked its head through the soil!) but now in my 50’s I am much more confident, and that bean is covered in flowers. My techie ‘bean’ will probably never flourish, and that is okay!
In my Christian journey God has called me to ministry. This started as a very small bean. It was hardly poking through the soil. In order to develop this ‘bean’ I had to lay aside other ‘beans’ which were flourishing, to give this bean more sunshine and its share of water.
In my personal reflection this month I’ve been thinking about the gifts that God gives each and every one of us, using 1 Corinthians chapter 12 as my starting point. You see St Paul tells us: there are many gifts and the Holy Spirit distributes them, there is lots of different ways that these gifts can work, but they all come from God. At different points in our lives we will use different gifts, some we develop early on, they flourish but then have to put aside. Others grow more slowly and come to fruition later in our lives. St Paul then says we are called to different tasks or ministries, and these different tasks or ministries are not ranked in an order, the gifts that God has given us are all equal to each other, they are just different that is all.
What gifts (‘beans’) is God asking to you to develop? Perhaps this will mean concentrating on the beans that are growing best in your life at the moment, or perhaps some to be put aside so that others get some extra sunshine and water so that they grow and develop.
Can I suggest that we all pray to discover what ‘beans’ (gifts) God wants us to develop in our lives so that we truly can say that we are using the gifts that God has given us.
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September again! How quickly the months roll by. How quickly our lives move forward. Help us this September to welcome the new starts in our every-day lives – the new school year, the new clubs and activities for all ages that start up again this month. There are so many opportunities, so much to keep us busy. Help us Lord, this September to commit each new day and each new activity to you, aware that every day is a gift from you. Help us to choose wisely how we spend the time you give us and to reflect your love and generosity and kindness to those we meet each day.
In Jesus name. Amen.
By Daphne Kitching