It’s hard to believe it’s been six months. Half a year of giving ourselves to cultivating life with Jesus. We began with the metaphor of a flourishing garden. Gardens like this don’t just happen by accident. Their beauty comes at the end of hard work, they’re raised to life with care and attention. The same is true of our life with God. The beauty of such a life is cultivated, tended. It’s colour is sowen in seasons long before the bloom.
As spring arrives, like the daffodils and tulips that are springing from the ground, I can see the garden we’ve been tending together. There’s life in this place springing from the soil that is our Saviour, Jesus. I trust you’ve seen the same. It’s exciting, and it’s beautiful.
But what, we should ask, is it all for? Having tended the garden alone in the secret of winter, what should we expect of this springtime greenery? When the life of God blooms in our midst, when his life awakens us, deepens us, matures us, what comes next?
Two things, I think.
First, we give thanks--we worship, we sing, we dance, we enjoy the garden that God has graciously grown in us. This comes easy.
But what comes next is equally important, but much harder. The garden you’ve been growing, you should know, isn’t just for you. All that you’ve tended to, the flourishing of your life with God is not for your private enjoyment, not for your exclusive benefit. It’s to be shared. Shared with a city that needs new life, shared with people that crave the flourishing of God without even knowing it--friends, colleagues, neighbors, classmates.
As we delight in the new life that the spring brings, as we delight in all that God has done in us, may we reflect God’s heart in Jeremiah 29:7 to our city: “Seek the flourishing of the city to which I have carried you ... Pray to the Lord for it, because if it prospers, you too will prosper.”