Reflection: From darkness and oppression, the poetry of Isaiah now moves us gently into a beautiful garden. How? The Lord’s guidance. True ‘fasting’ or devotion to God, after all, always reflects the Master’s hand and bears good fruit. First, though, the seeds must be planted in the dark, lifeless soil. Then the life-giving springs of water will flow over the lives of the faithful, even in a sun-scorched land. And as they do, they will produce a garden so lush and beautiful that all who see it can flourish. Their frames will be strengthened, their hearts encouraged. The
garden will do its work. This is, of course, the abundant life Jesus calls his followers to in John 10:10. He is the living water; he plants us in his love, and as we abide in the vine, he prunes and cultivates his purposes in us so that justice and mercy will bloom.
Question: How has the Lord guided and strengthened you in what might have felt like ‘a sun scorched land’?
Prayer: O Great Creator of the Universe, prune our lives that we might be of
service to you, so that others might flourish in the care you provide through your church. Plant us in your everlasting love that our Christ-centred communities might be a shelter of peace and beauty to others. Amen.