Everything is in bud.
I watched an adaptation of The Mystery of Edwin Drood the other night, Dickens' dark unfinished novel about the brooding love/lust of Jasper the Choirmaster for Rosa Bud, innocent seventeen year old beauty, pledged to be married to someone else.
Dickens was probably making a point with her name (he normally did). She is young, about to flower. Who will pluck her? I must admit, the Victorians had just as murky a subconscious as anything swilling around in society in these so called 'secularised' times.
The more I think about science (and I sometimes have a year 9 science lesson on the way home in the car, on the school run, so I should know) the more incredulous I am that so much of it is so...miraculous. You cannot see that leaf, that flower, that fruit emerging. You can't even see the bud. Then all of a sudden, there it is. And a few more days sunshine and, hey, there's the leaf. And the flower. And the fruit. Where does it come from? It's growth - entirely natural and normal. And incredible. (But that is probably a romantic and entirely non factual response to nature, albeit very in character for me).
I wish we could get our heads around growth in the church. It often doesn't feel normal or natural, but inhibited. We have church growth conferences (a bit better than the crass event served up for Adam Smallbone, of Rev. last night on the TV) but perhaps none of it is any use if our church soil is poor. And nothing grows well without a good gardener putting in hours of effort.
We had Mothering Sunday service here, to which double the usual number of people came. But, guess what? The amount of time it took to bring it all together was also double. So while growth is normal and natural, the soil definitely still needs thoughtful preparing.
I'm looking around the church for the buds. Whereabouts will there be a flowering and a harvest of fruit in the right season, a harvest that feeds the world?