Easter is behind us. The days are becoming longer. The daffodils are gradually peaking as are the primroses. There is a wealth of wonderful plants coming out in gardens and hedgerows. From the house we can see the pale green of a willow emerging into full leaf. This is a speciall time of year designed to lift the lowest spirits with hope and expectation.
There is so much promise around not least in the fields where autumn -sown crops are storming ahead and their spring planted counterparts are rushing to catch up. Farmers are working hard to apply timely sprays and dressings whilst also tending the new lambs frolicking in the fields.
On Sunday 10th May two of our churches will be marking ‘Rogation Tide’, a time to give thanks and pray for our farmers and their crops. If you would like to join in this seasonal festival Alderminster will be having a Rogation Eucharist at 10 am whilst at Pillerton they will mark Rogation at 3 pm with a service that will move around the village and end with tea in church.
May also includes Ascension Day when the risen Christ returned to his Father in heaven from earth. As he left he commissioned his disciples to continue his work here and we will celebrate that on Thursday 14th May joining with others from around the Deanery at 7.30 pm for a service in Barcheston Church.
As Jesus left this earth he told his disciples to “go and make disciples of all nations, baptising them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit” (Matthew 28 verse 19). But his timid bunch of baffled and bemused followers were not expected to take on this task alone and unaided. They were promised the help of the Holy Spirit who came to them at Pentecost, ten days after Ascension. We celebrate this event in all our churches on Sunday 24th May.
Pentecost was when God’s Spirit gave his followers the gifts they needed to build his church, gifts we need today if our churches are to grow and be relevant to the life of all our communities in the twenty first century.
This is a season of gifts; gifts given by God to his people to help his church, plus gifts to nourish us and bless us in the year ahead. The spiritual and the physical elements of life go together and May is a great month to note that.
This year it is also a good time to recall those around the world who cannot enjoy the many gifts we have because of war and persecution, and to consider prayerfully who is to form our next government. Will it be of people who care not only for our land and people but those less fortunate than us? If it is not, ours will be a much poorer nation!