Those of us who manage gardens are aware of the need to prune plants and trees to keep them in shape and to maintain healthy, strong growth. Fruit bearing plants need this particularly if they are to produce a good crop. God knows all about gardening of course, having planted the first garden! He works in our lives to prune and cleanse them, making us fruitful in the service of his kingdom. The process of being pruned is not necessarily very comfortable; it could be very painful. It also continues in every season of our lives; maturity in the faith does not protect us from God’s attention as he helps us to continue to grow well.
The reflection that follows was given at the noon SLT service in the Cathedral on 6 May. The readings were Acts 8:26-end, Psalm 22:25-end, John 15:1-8.
I woke this morning to temperatures below freezing point with ice on our bird bath – no drinks for thirsty birds first thing this morning! It certainly doesn’t feel like Spring if you base your judgement on the early morning temperatures. However, if I look around me I see lots of evidence to say that it is Spring. When the water had melted a young blackbird took a bath – we seem to have so many baby birds being born in our garden. Also, the birds are singing in a different way and VERY early!
Another obvious sign of Spring is all the new growth on the plants. A few weeks ago our loganberry was just a rather sad collection of branches tied to the front wall of our bungalow. I had cut away all the old woody stems and just left the new ones. Now as I look out of my window I see the plant covered in luxuriant leaves. There are so many new stems growing off the ones I tied up that I shall have to spend some time carefully tying them to the supporting wires to protect them from breaking. The blossom is beginning to develop – I saw the first open flower yesterday. I have hopes for lots of fruit later in the year. Continue reading