15th July 2020

The Sunflower 

“’Do you hear what these children are saying?’ they asked him. Yes,” replied Jesus, ‘have you never read, “From the lips of children and infants you, Lord, have called forth your praise”?’”
Matthew 21:16 (NIV)

My grandson and I grow sunflowers.  They make me smile, I admire their bright garish colour, their presence in the garden, standing tall and reaching for the sun.  Each year during winter, the seeds are sown. With regular watering they soon sprout and are transplanted into tiny pots. As Spring arrives the seedlings are re-potted and finally when the frosts have gone, the young plants are put into the garden.  There they flourish and grow – this is a process carried out year on year in many gardens.

This year however, something unusual happened.  As the plants rapidly grew stretching up and up, one plant seemed reluctant to join the others, the growth was much slower.  I admit to thinking that this one was not going to make it and started to plan what to replace it with.  Imagine my surprise when with only half the height of the other sunflowers, the little one was the first to produce a beautiful jewel bright bloom – the size of a dinner plate!

The other flowers will bloom but they are so high that unless you are in a helicopter, you will not be able to see them!  This has been a lesson in perspective for me and my grandson.  There was a time when the disciples shooed away little ones from an audience with Jesus.  All they would want to do was to receive a blessing from Jesus, but no, perhaps the disciples pre-empted the Victorians with ‘children should be seen and not heard!’  Thankfully, Jesus was ahead of the situation, He invited the children over, he blessed them and then came the thunderbolt as far as the disciples were concerned.  Jesus looked straight at them and said, “Truly I tell you, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it” (Luke 18:17). That stopped them in their tracks!  First Century middle eastern society gave no status to children – yet here Jesus is encouraging them to think like children.

It was the children who greeted Jesus as He entered Jerusalem (Matthew 21:15). Jesus recognised the innocence, humility, and honesty of the young people, who were oblivious of political undercurrents.  They were pleased to see Jesus and earnestly wanted to be near him.  In a way, Jesus was saying in today’s vernacular ‘small is beautiful.’  We need to lose the cynicism of adulthood and regain the innocence and purity of thought that children can have – it will help us bloom like my little sunflower!

Prayer
Father, thank you for the gift of children, forgive us for our adult perceptions of life and help us to become humble and innocent of sin
.
Amen

Study by Irene Wilson

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About the Author:
Irene Wilson is a Deaconess in the Watford Congregation of Grace Communion International, where she also serves on the Pastoral Council.

Local Congregation:
Gracecom Watford
St. Peter’s Church
61 Westfield Avenue
Watford, Herts.
WD24 7HF

Meeting Time:
Saturday 11AM

Local Congregational Contact:
George Henderson
Phone:  01923-855570
Email: watford@gracecom.church

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Comments

One Response to “15th July 2020”

  1. Stewart Raeburn on July 15th, 2020 4:19 pm

    Thank you Irene. May we have the innocence and purity of thought and the imagination of a child.Keep on growing the sunflowers!

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