About 5 years ago at a Church plant sale we bought Nat the most boring looking cactus there was going (he likes cacti). It was nothing more than one prickly stump, about 2 inches tall. We have watered it from time to time and it’s had a bright window position, but nothing has changed about it and we pay it little attention. It has remained a boring prickly stump… until now – well about a month ago!
Out of the side of the single prickly stump, a growth started to emerge… another, protruding, prickly stump! We paid little attention to the new growth… just another prickly stump after all.
But last week… there was a surprise development! The new stump had grown and grown to about 5½ inches in length, and the end of it seemed to be breaking out. The following day there bloomed a most beautiful and delicate pink flower!
It struck me as miraculous that such a thing could change so imperceptibly and yet thoroughly, bursting into new life, a life unrecognisably different from its former state. Yes, the prickly stump remains, but we cannot think of it in the same way now. It is changed forever, something new has broken out of its former incarnation and transformed it forever!
A hymn we sometimes sing goes like this:-
We limit not the truth of God to our poor reach of mind.
by notions of our day and sect, crude, partial and confined.
Now let a new and better hope within our heart be stirred:
The Lord hath yet more light and truth to break forth from his Word.
Can it be that there is light and truth ready to break forth from our Churches? Like the flower, despite its original appearance, biding its time before flourishing. Is it possible for our ‘ordinariness’ to be transformed into something beautiful? And will we let it? We must be alert to the possibility that God can transform us and do a new thing. Perhaps we will look different. But through prayer and Bible reading which will nurture our relationship with Jesus – The Source of Living Water – feeding us, and by placing ourselves in His glorious light, perhaps we can emerge from the same source transformed.
Revd. Janine Atkinson