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Hyacinths and Legs and Toes!

If it sounds like alternative lyrics to the children's action song, well, it possibly could be.

Way back at the start of October, on my first Sunday at the Gathering Place we, or rather the children, planted some hyacinth bulbs and pondered the parable, from Mark, of the farmer who plants the seeds and then gets on with life whilst it grows.  And so we have got on with life for the last four months, and the Sunday school have loyally tended the bulbs as they grew, at first in a dark cupboard and then on a high shelf where they wouldn't get knocked over. Last Sunday the room where the children meet was filled with the heady scent of hyacinths in full bloom and three enormous purple heads of flowers were a delight to behold.  With further flowers on the way, the hyacinths were moved to the main room and now everyone can enjoy the sight and smell of these wonderful flowers.  Somewhere in there is a 1 Corinthians 3:6 moment: I bought the bulbs, the children tended them but it is God who gave the hyacinths their beauty and scent.

Also in the main room is a corner known as the Snug where we display craft work produced by the children and young people.  As part of their work relating to TLM they had heard the story of the ten lepers cleansed by Jesus, of whom one returned to say thank you.  They had cut out and decorated giant letters to spell out THANK YOU and each letter was decorated with words and pictures of things they were grateful to God for.  Among the more obvious candidates I spotted 'toes', 'legs' and 'nervous system.'  I am pretty sure that some of the inspiration for this was their learning about leprosy which can damage these parts of the body.  Nevertheless, it was for me a moment of 'wow' as the little ones led my thoughts to gratitude for the tiniest and most overlooked/taken for granted aspects of my own body.  On Sunday we begin our stewardship series looking at our talents/gifts/skills and will be using my favourite 'body of Christ' passages from Romans 12 and 1 Corinthians 12.  In the past when I have preached on these passages I have commented on the importance of big toes and opposable thumbs as well as armpits, finger nails and diverse bodily orifices (always guaranteed to get a few quizzical looks!  But surely these are among the 'treat with special honour' bits?).

It is always good to spot how things connect, how the belief that God is alive and active (about which we thought last week) is glimpsed in these odd moments of 'synchronicity' or 'God-incidence' or 'serendipity' or whatever language your prefer.

So, altogether now.... 'hyacinths and legs and toes....'


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