A View From The Vicarage - March 2019

Dear Friends 

How Does Your Garden Grow? 

As you wander about the gardens, fields and hedgerows during the early months of the year, one cannot fail to be aware of the beautiful bright colours of spring flowers, their fragile tender beauty against the bare harshness of frozen ground damp with dead leaves.  Those harbingers of spring brighten up dark days and the chill of winter and point to the warmer, longer days of summer.

Is it any wonder that the word we use to describe the days from Ash Wednesday to Easter is “Lent”, the word bears no relation to penitence or any of the themes of Lent but rather is merely the Saxon word for lengthen and describes little more than longer hours of daylight as summer approaches.

Despite their meteorological origins the parallels between spring and our Lenten observance are quite overwhelming.  The dark cold earth which yields to those seemingly delicate buds are surely the natural world’s equivalent to the cold darkness of our own hearts before they are brightened and lightened by the graceful beauty of God’s love.   As we continue our Lenten journey those tiny green shoots of honesty, generosity, love, compassion and kindliness grow into graceful flowers.

During Lent, please do use every opportunity to nurture your spiritual garden in much the same way as some of us care for our natural gardens.  Whatever you do, please don’t emulate the baker in the following story.

After a while, the baker came to suspect that the farmer from whom he bought his butter was serving short weight on his order.  So for an entire week he carefully weighed the butter at home, and sure enough his suspicions were confirmed.  Irate, he had the farmer arrested.

A hearing was scheduled without delay.  “I assume you use the standard weights when measuring out your goods?”  the judge asked the farmer sternly.

“As a matter of fact, I don’t”, responded the farmer calmly.

“Well, then.  How do you do your measuring?”

“You see, your Honour, when the baker began buying butter from me, I decided to buy his bread” explained the farmer.  “And I measure out his butter by placing his one pound loaf of bread on the other side of the scale.”

A Bucket of Surprises, J. John and Mark Stibble, Monarch Books

I wish you a happy and holy Lent and a “blooming” Easter. 

With my love and prayers as always


Ben Griffith