Another Thursday, and for me another train journey, this time making my way from Cambridge back to Manchester. As I gaze through the windows, as my two trains travel across the English countryside, I am struck by just that: how much countryside there is - a far cry from the current wilderness which surrounds the Rectory back home. On closer inspection there is field after field of different crops at varying stages of their respective harvest each with very clear boundaries and divisions. These crops haven’t come about through random chance, but through the intentional sowing, watering and fertilising. Once in a while, as we approach areas of population, the same is seen but at a micro level, as I am able to look into gardens and allotments: observing that sunflowers at present, seem to be the flower of the moment.
All of this seems to coincide and remind me of our thinking last Sunday, as together with the children we acknowledged the qualities of the sun as an invaluable part of God’s creation, and how it enables things to grow. Later on the adults continued with this theme as we encountered the familiar contents of the parable of the sower. We debated the nature of parables and the dangers of trying to find easy and definite interpretations. However, I myself was taken by the extravagance of the sower. Perhaps this should come as no surprise to us as it mirrors others aspects of the extravagant nature of God’s love that I’ve been thinking about recently - the reckless generous economy of God as displayed in other parables such as the labourers in the vineyard, whereby His intention and desire to bless goes well beyond our human expectation. As expressed in the chorus we sometimes sing
“Your love is extravagant
Your friendship is intimate….
…spread wide in the arms of Christ is the love that covers sin
no greater love have I ever known
you considered me as a friend
Captivate my heart again”
May we indeed indeed have our hearts and lives captivated by our generous and reckless God, who took the gamble and reached out to love us, before we could ever love Him in return.