There seems to be a big focus on flowers at the moment. With flowers starting to bloom in our own gardens, the Chelsea flower show and our own flower festival in a few weeks time and you cannot fail to be moved the beauty of nature.
Flowers, all different shapes, size and colours making a thing of beauty – whether that is in a natural garden, cultivated garden or in an arrangement put together. Each bloom is crucial and has an important role to play in the display. Every flower contributes. A single bloom would be ineffective on its own. Together they make a thing of beauty something that reaches out and moves people. Something that makes a difference to people’s life.
In many ways this image could be used of the church. In 1 Corinthians 12 v12-26 the church is described as the body made of many parts, each one contributing to the whole. Each one of us is important – whether we are a rose, lily, dandelion or a thistle. We cannot say to each other ‘I don’t need you’, and then just walk off.
Perhaps another way of way of saying this is the story below.
“One fine day it occurred to the members of the body that they were doing all the work and the stomach was having all the food. So they held a meeting, and after a long discussion, decided to strike work till the stomach consented to take its proper share of the work. So for a day or two, the hands refused to take the food, the mouth refused to receive it, and the teeth had no work to do. But after a day or two the members began to find that they themselves were not in a very active condition: the hands could hardly move, and the mouth was all parched and dry, while the legs were unable to support the rest. So they found that even the stomach in its dull quiet way was doing necessary work for the body, and that all must work together or the body will go to pieces.”
Each of us at St. Matthew’s has a role to play. Each of us is important and each of us is part of the body of Christ. This can be seen in the flower festival to which many have contributed.
As you come to the ‘symphony of flowers’ enjoy and appreciate the displays, singing, the concerts and the refreshments. But also use this time to reflect on how each of us like one of those blooms. Together we make something beautiful – not through anything that we have done, but through God at work in us. Each of us reflect the glory of God and are called to show that glory to others.
(PS – many thanks to all those who have contributed to the flower festival in any way)