Lent 1 Darkwood of Uncertainty

There’s a path though it winds its way through darkness
we would choose to avoid it if we could
We awake to an unexpected calling
God says “Come – there are gifts in the Dark Wood.

Reflection by Gordon
It’s not tiny. It is not the smallest seed
and it’s not the absolute most insignificant thing.
But you probably don’t want to rave about how wonderful it looks.

It’s pretty small.   And at first glance it’s pretty ordinary

It doesn’t end up the size of an Australian Mountain ash
And it may not end up in the Guinness book of records
But at the same time, it’s certainly is significant
and it certainly does have impact on its world and its environment.

The mustard seed, the mustard bush.   The parable of God’s movement
From little things big things grow.

A group of half a dozen or so people in a lounge room
in a relatively new suburb of Canberra
who develop faithfully into a congregation and community service body.
Not a tiny start, but small.   Not a huge outcome, but significant

From little things big things grow.

A gathering of families piled into a small crèche/ meeting room
to give each other support and friendship
who end up part of Canberra’s largest provider of playgroups
Not a tiny start, but small.   Not a huge outcome, but definitely significant

From little things big things grow.

A brainwave of an idea when thoughts of coconuts and caulking guns merge
and which develop 10 or so years later
into a movement and a business that is changing Pacific nations’ economies
and reliance on technologies that rob people of time and dignity

A small start – real, but small.
A great outcome, though the world economies aren’t totally transformed – yet.

From little things big things grow.

A woman who was a part-time pastoral support worker
and a young man who wouldn’t keep quiet or still, but loved being around youth
who become an aged care chaplain in Northern NSW
and a Youth and Young Adults worker across Victoria (and beyond)
Ordinary starts – nothing miraculous. And transforming outcomes

From little things big things grow.

A great way of getting rid of some extra unwanted things from homes
and to raise a little bit of money for the church while doing it
which develops over 20 years
into crazy, hectic and dynamic Garage Sales
that support people locally and internationally
and which are an integral element of the church’s budget

A small start. Not tiny, but small.
A wonderful development – though of course there are bigger garage sales around

From little things big things grow.

Shall I go on?
To speak of food and Christmas support for thousands of people
To speak of 1kg eggs that become 10kg eggs
To speak of people nurtured and raised by this congregation
who now provide national and international leadership

It’s not tiny. It is not the smallest seed
It doesn’t end up the size of an Australian Mountain ash
But the mustard seed does grow into a significant bush

From little things big things grow.

What are the mustard seeds that are here today?

Response by John
(note The italics are spoken instructions to this guided meditation.)

 God is calling – we are uncertain
What do we need to say, “yes!”?

From little things, big things grow.

Lick your index finger, and lift your hand to feel to the wind…
Where is it coming from, where is it going?
Sway gently…
Imagine the wind blowing against your arms
Flowing through and around you.

Fell the wind.
Blowing gently, persistently.
Lets its breeze flow over and around you.
Know the winds embrace.
God is in the wind.
God’s Spirit’s wind in not the tiniest of winds,
But is the most significant of winds.

God is calling
What do we need to say, “yes!”?

Bend down
Scoop your hands
To gently pick up hands full of soil.
Slowly lift your hands full of soil.
Smell the rich aroma of humus.
Close your hands, enclosing the soil.
Open your fingers carefully
Feel the soil running through
Falling to the ground
From whence it came.
Open your hands
See the remnants of soil that remain

We are the soil where the seeds fall.
Soil rich with experience, capacity, potential, promise.
Soil ready to welcome and enfold the seed
The Spirit carries our way.
Soil – the ground of God’s grace.
Soil – nourished, enlivened, caressed
by God’s love, grace and compassion.
God is in the seed…

God is calling
What do we need to say, “yes!”?

See a seed
Blown on the wind towards you.
Perhaps, like a sycamore seed
It has an aero system to assist its wind-fuelled flight
Watch the seed as it
Dances unpredictably
On the wind…
Follow the seed with your head –
Up, down, left, right, behind, in front.

Open your thumb and forefinger
See the seed resting between thumb and forefinger.
Feel its size
Respond to its texture.

A seed is poised
Expectant, waiting, hoping
For the breath of God.
Eager to be plucked up
Carried upwards, outwards, onwards…
Seeds of imagination
Seeds of places yet to be visited
Seeds of relationships yet to be explored
Seeds of hope yet to be realized.
Seeds of reconciliation yet to be sealed
Seeds of healing yet to be administered
Seeds of peace yet to be achieved
Seeds of justice yet to be dispensed.
Seeds of truth yet to be told
Seeds of compassion yet to be experienced
Seeds of grace yet to be known
Seeds of love yet to enliven.
God is in the seeds.

God is calling
What do we need to say, “yes!”?

Based on Luke 13 : 19 – The kingdom of God is like..

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