Worship Materials: Spring

From the Seasoned Celebration collection

THEME                      The Flowing Sap

THOUGHTS FOR REFLECTION

  1. The fragrance of Spring lies not in judgement’s intervention but in love’s nurturing of the interior goodness.
  2. Spring is not so much a moment as a movement, a manifestation of the sometimes hidden but always present life-force of God.
  3. Birth is seldom painless – change always has its price.
  4. When the mind flows like sap unlimited possibilities emerge and we   become liberated from endless cycles of mechanical repetition.
  5. Like germinating seed forcing its way through the paving, slow, gentle pressure is usually the best way to move psychological mountains.
  6. The activist who has no depth of inner resources is like the seed that falls on barren soil.
  7. Seriousness can inhibit the flow of our ‘spirit’s sap. Humor can enhance it.
  8. People grow through affirmation not through judgment.

 

PRAYER

O God of gentle power, help us to focus our energies

so that we may break out of all confining ways of thought and blossom into fullness of life.

 

HYMNS

May the sap flow in our hearts. (BL)

You are the process God. (BL)

 

The spring will come again.

https://www.methodist.org.nz/resources/hymns/the_mystery_telling

 

POEMS / REFLECTIONS

 

NATURE’S GREEN WONDER

Nature’s green wonder – Spring!

The meeting of God

in the arteries and veins of this world,

the point where the ordinary becomes otherness

and eternity breaks into the time-serving.

It is season of recurrent renewal

when green’s myriad shades

woo us into imitating nature’s creativity,

and love’s dreams fortify us against

the souls’ inevitable winters.

 

LIKE THE PETALS

Like the petals of the flower I unfold,

Like the roots of the plants I draw life,

Like the leaves in the wind I dance and sing

And in it all I encounter the Christ.

 

SPRING PILGRIMAGE

To this place, I came

with pilgrim heart

bearing the remains

of my buried-by-paper,

programme-dissected life.

 

I came

to re-live past springs

of solitary childhood,

passionate adolescence

and all-too-busy adulthood.

 

I came to immerse myself

in a world of exquisite beauty;

of buds bursting as wide open

as birthday party eyes

of children.

 

But I heard

night’s blanket of stillness

pierced by the helpless

cry of a lamb and saw,

next day,

crushed grass stained by the blood

of birth.

That cry and that blood

shattered the unreal dreams

of my daffodil mind‑

(dreams of effortless creativity

and painless renewal)

instead, I heard

earth’s starving poor

urging me

to make cause

with that far greater spring,

the liberating and maturing

of the human race.

 

SPRING

Spring,

God’s fragile mystery of resurrection ‑

yours is the over-flowing beauty of young oaks’

filigreed foliage,

of pendant ash flowers

and the fiery emergence of poplar leaves

in all their wet-eyed wonder.

You are nature’s embryo,

a silent exaltation

of all that is

soft,

tender

and beautiful;

a golden effusion

of love and heaven,

of stillness and freshness –

the Spirit’s greening time

when Earth’s rebirth

foreshadows our own.

Each spring

approached

with joyful reverence

becomes

an epidemic

of mystery and resurrection ‑

an epidemic to which

through God’s grace

we shall succumb!

 

FOCUS FOR ACTION

  1. The Easter of nature will only bring new life to our spirit if we are prepared with delight to watch its potential unfold.   What are some of the potentials within our own spirituality? Do we notice the signs of change in our life?  Do we discern the indicators in other people?  Are we willing to share with them what we have noticed?
  2. What is the nature of the shell which must be broken if our spirituality is to grow.
  3. The beginnings of spiritual growth lie in affirming the Inner Christ – that of God – the I AM within us.  Do we feel happy with the idea that God is in part within us or do we give to someone else the divinity that is our own and in the process effectively deny that we are Children of God?

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Text and image © William Livingstone Wallace but available for free use.

 

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