“Let the land produce vegetation: 

seed-bearing plants and trees on the land that bear fruit with seed in it, according to their various kinds.”

Sunday Devotion 19th of September 2021 for the church of St. Mark’s physically distanced but connected in heart in the midst of uniting against COVID-19 Delta

A video to begin with as a prayer –

Dance Dance

Click the link: https://vimeo.com/255479836


Genesis 1:11-13

 Be attentive to the voice of creation. Hear and see how God’s word springs forth life to bear life. In what voice is the word being said? Where do you see signs of Spring? Could this be an image of God’s Word being spoken to you? Imagine. What significance could this have for your life?

 Then God said,

“Let the land produce vegetation:

seed-bearing plants and trees on the land that bear fruit with seed in it, according to their various kinds.”

And it was so.

The land produced vegetation: plants bearing seed according to their kinds and trees bearing fruit with seed in it according to their kinds.

And God saw that it was good.

And there was evening, and there was morning

—the third day.

Which word or phrase grabs your attention?

Dwell with this for a while.

Invite Jesus to a conversation how this word or phrase relates to your life.

Scripture reading: Mark 9:30-37

Are you enjoying Spring? What are you appreciating about it? Spring is a beautiful season, isn’t it. The burst of colours, is a great visual spectacular! The colours brighten up the surrounding. I find that the cherry blossom blooms light up even at night.

The burst of scent is a fragrance galore! I am aware of hayfever, I feel for those who suffer from it. I think I have a mild form of it as my nose gets blocked time to time. However, sometimes a waft of it catches me by surprise and brings a smile to my face and a sense of joy.

I’ve been thinking about how Winter wanes to Spring. The permanence of cold slowly gives way to warmth. The Sun is higher and remains for longer. The plants, the seeds, know well this waning of Winter and the arrival of Spring. They are receptive to the conditions and opens up! Listen to these words from Isaiah:

Isaiah 55:10-13

For as the rain and the snow come down from heaven,
and do not return there until they have watered the earth,
making it bring forth and sprout,
giving seed to the sower and bread to the eater,
so shall my word be that goes out from my mouth;
it shall not return to me empty,
but it shall accomplish that which I purpose,
and succeed in the thing for which I sent it.

For you shall go out in joy,
and be led back in peace;
the mountains and the hills before you
shall burst into song,
and all the trees of the field shall clap their hands.
Instead of the thorn shall come up the cypress;
instead of the brier shall come up the myrtle;
and it shall be to the Lord for a memorial,
for an everlasting sign that shall not be cut off.

However, flowers are a delicate things aren’t they? Very much vulnerable to the elements. A sudden change of weather can have a huge impact. The gust of wind could see the end of cherry blossoms prematurely! The toxic ground can deform it, and even kill it. They are vulnerable.

Like flowers of Spring, children are vulnerable too. And I know this well. With an almost two year old child, who tests the boundaries, is testing my boundaries, I have been testing my stern voice and command to protect her: “No!” “Don’t”

I use my stern voice on Naomi Saehee thinking that it will work, it should work, it must work! To get done what I will, don’t do that, don’t touch that, don’t yell, don’t, don’t, don’t…. I don’t know what’s going on but she isn’t receptive.

The thing is it’s likely she has seen me do what I tell her not too. She throws her soft toys. I tell her don’t! But she probably has seen me throw her soft toys in to the toy box while cleaning up. I tell her don’t shake the chair, but she probably has seen me tilt the chair while vaccuming. She is receptive, very receptive, just that I am inconsistent towards her.

I am learning, first of all, usually, as a policy, the command “don’t” just doesn’t work. Of course, there are times when “don’t” is necessary but I’m learning that “don’t” is helpful when a good example of “do” is absent. This isn’t our way of doing things, this is our way! Do this.

Both Spring flowers and children, there is something similar. They are both receptive and vulnerable. They are receptive which is great but the presence of the wrong things is making them vulnerable. When the ground is fertile, both flowers and children thrive like we see in Spring!

The disciples are arguing. They are arguing about who is the greatest among them. I wonder what they would have used as the basis from which to rank from the greatest to the least. Whatever it was, Jesus feels that the criteria they use is wrong and sets out to teach them.

Jesus takes a child. He says, “welcome them.” Jesus makes an incredible statement that in welcoming them, we are welcoming God. What is it about a child that makes them the channel of God? Could it be that we are being invited to be receptive and vulnerable?

Just as the first plants of creation, the spring flowers and a child, we are to be receptive to God. To be receptive to God means that we become vulnerable. Being receptive and vulnerable are the two sides of the same coin. Without being vulnerable, we cannot be receptive. Without welcoming a child, we cannot welcome God.


 Questions for Prayerful Reflection

What is your favourite Spring flower? Describe how it looks to you in full bloom? What’s needed for it to thrive?

Describe what a thriving child looks like?

What does being receptive and vulnerable to God might look like in your life? How might you be like as a thriving child of God?

A song for prayerful reflection:

Open Up by The Brilliance

Click the link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xgdNrppahI4


A song to sing along!

Lord make me a channel of your peace

Click the link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ihhvm6eLWZI

The Benediction:

The Grace of our Lord Jesus Christ,

the Love of God,

and the Communion of the Holy Spirit

be with us all, now and always, Amen.