10th November 2015

Seeds of Joy 

“Then God said, ‘Let the land produce vegetation: seed-bearing plants and trees on the land that bear fruit with seed in it, according to their various kinds.’ And it was so. The land produced vegetation: plants bearing seed according to their kinds and trees bearing fruit with seed in it according to their kinds. And God saw that it was good.”
Genesis 1:11-12 (NIV)

After moving house, we discovered – for the first time ever – the blessing of a south facing garden. This prompted me to “go back to basics” and grow plants from seed, experimenting with tomatoes, chilies and sunflowers.

I never realised how much joy can be generated from seeing a new seedling appear! As the first sunflower appeared I felt like a little child all over again – almost as if I had never seen a plant growing before!

Reflecting on this, I realised that gardening has always brought me an inner sense of satisfaction. Don’t get me wrong – I’m no Alan Titchmarsh! Yet, pottering with plants has brought great contentment over the years. And it appears that this isn’t just a coincidence. God has infected the creation with his joy.

“The grasslands of the wilderness overflow; the hills are clothed with gladness. The meadows are covered with flocks and the valleys are mantled with grain; they shout for joy and sing.” (Psalm 65:12-13). King David, who wrote Psalm 65, was very clear as to where all this joy comes from. Referring to God, he says “The whole earth is filled with awe at your wonders; where morning dawns, where evening fades, you call forth songs of joy” (Psalm 65:8).

For me, the sight of a sunflower breaking out of its seed gave me joy. For you, perhaps it is something different. My mum adores pictures of tigers. Someone I know has just moved into the Peak District because they want to break out of the city and be surrounded by the green of natural grass and plants. My brother and his wife have recently visited Japan to see the cherry trees in blossom.

Perhaps for you it will be standing on the edge of the Grand Canyon, watching Emperor Penguins in a TV documentary or sitting on a boat in the ocean while whale watching. Creation is filled with joy and for all of us – yes, for every one of us – there is something that will fill us with awe, joy or contentment.

So, let’s give thanks and praise the One who began all things.

Prayer
Father, we praise you for the beautiful creation, which you have filled with your joy and purpose. Help us to share that joy and to cherish all that you have made. In Jesus, your Son and our Saviour we pray.
Amen

Study by Ian Woodley

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ianwoodleyAbout the Author:
Ian Woodley pastors the Nottingham Grace Communion Church, that meets at 2pm Saturday, as below.  Ian also facilitates a monthly Bible Study in Lincoln, which generally meets on a Saturday at 1:30pm.  They welcome visitors to join them—for more details contact Ian Woodley as below.

Local Congregation:
Nottingham Grace Communion
Lucy Brown Hall
Attenborough Lane
Beeston
NOTTINGHAM NG9 5HZ

Meeting Time:
Saturday 2pm

Local Congregational Contact:
Ian Woodley
Email:  icgwoodley@gmail.com

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