26th July 2011

In Praise of the Primrose

“Walk into the fields and look at the wildflowers.”
Luke 12:27 (MSG)

I recently read a short article by Monty Don, the celebrity gardener, in which he extols the qualities of the primrose. Here’s what he says:  “Primroses make me as happy as any object possibly could. Its not so much what they are in themselves, it’s the associations: spring; gentleness; they’re to do with woodland; they’re a very English plant; they’re modest but they’re beautiful; they’re to do with birdsong; they’re to do with the quality of light that you begin to get in spring—they bring gentle optimism.” After reading this I thought—that’s what Christians should be like! Don’t you agree?

A short time later as I pottered around the garden I discovered that one of my primroses is in flower. Four delicate, gentle, golden flowers—in July—spring is long gone! But there they were, as large as life and, you know; they did lift my spirits. 

Christians also should be bringers of joy; “For the kingdom of God is not food and drink but righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit.” (Romans 14:17 NRSV). 

Christians also need to be gentle; “Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.” (Colossians 3:12 NIV). 

Christians also bring a special quality of light; “You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden.” (Matthew 5:14 NIV). 

Christians too should bring a gentle optimism to others; “How beautiful on the mountains are the feet of the messenger bringing good news, breaking the news that all’s well, proclaiming good times, announcing salvation, telling Zion ‘Your God reigns!’” (Isaiah 52:7). 

Perhaps next year you might remember the words of Monty Don and welcome these beautiful sun-coloured gentle flowers called primroses, as they usher in the springtime with a gentle optimism. I know I will! 

Father, thank you for creating such a delicate and beautiful wildflower like the humble primrose; help us to see your love reflected in each petal and leaf and rejoice with great joy.

Study by Cliff Neill

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