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Vicar’s Message August/September 2018

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Summer is here in full glory, with a heatwave only veterans of 1976 can remember the like of. The forecasters say we will probably only have short bursts of rain until at least the end of the month, so the gardens and fields may really suffer. The drought warnings are starting, perhaps as much because of increased demand than empty reservoirs. I have to
put my cards on the table: I love it. Having worked in Sudan where we went for over eight months without any rain, I enjoy the heat and the bright colours of blue sky and long sunlit evenings across the fields,
meres and mosses. Just as much as I enjoy the different brightness of a snow-lit winterscape.

Having an outdoors childhood means I cherish the seasons in their varied glories. The language of the Bible has much resonance with the seasonal rural landscape: the “fields white for harvest” glowing in the afternoon sun; “consider the lilies of the field” reminds us to ponder the roadside displays of pastel scabious, pink mallows and even an
unexpected electric blue wild cornflower in Hadnall; the “cedars of Lebanon” towering as English oaks; the farmer sowing and having to rely on God’s bounteous provision for growth; respecting the soil instead of exploiting it; the fig tree producing sweet figs in due season; Jesus as the true vine…..these are perennial images of deep reality and we are
blessed in Shropshire to be so close to so much.

So writing while unsure whether I will be leading prayers for rain in a few weeks or rejoicing in a wonderful harvest safely gathered in, let us give thanks for all that is and pray for God’s help with the anxieties which farmers and others must weather in this unpredictable life. I pray that you may have time, whether at the beach, in the garden, or
wandering along our country lanes, to pause and ponder: God saw what he had made and it was very good.

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