Dear Minster and friends,
This week the apples came early and the plums came late. At least they did at Stampwell farm. Unseasonal heat in June, and a slightly stormy few days has plumped up some of our old plums, and the historic varieties of apples are weighing down the branches about a month early. As my children picked them, throwing them down to one another from the overhanging branches, for a few moments we were not playing Marvel Contest of Champions or Minecraft (or whatever is the current favourite) but just doing what kids have done every summer for… forever. Letting our actions follow the seasons, not forcing the seasons to bend to our wills.
As people of faith and followers of Jesus we are always happier when we follow the contours of our natural spiritual and emotional lives, and allow them to be infused with the liberty and adventure of the Spirit of God.
However, the apostle Paul also told his apprentices to ‘preach the word in season and out of season’ ; the prophet Amos foresaw that one day the ploughman would overtake the reaper. That God can intervene and adjust the spiritual seasons so they don’t always follow the pattern we expect.
So are you ready for early fruit an unexpected harvest, or a late winter of the soul? Will we let God shape us through the sunshine of his favour, the warmth of his love, and the watering of our lives through hardship and tears of downpours of his Presence?
May you know, may each of us, spend time to realise which season of the soul we may be living through- and find a way to praise. As the song goes:
Praise You in the morning, praise You in the evening
Praise You when I’m young and when I’m old
Praise You when I’m laughing, praise You with I’m grieving
Praise You ev’ry season of the soul
(Matt Redman – Let everything that Has breath- 1998)
With much love, as ever