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Seeds of the Kingdom

A New Season

by Richard Griffiths

See! The winter is past; the rains are over and gone. Flowers appear on the earth; the season of singing has come.
Song of Songs 2:11-12, NIV

Where we live, we’ve had snow on the ground almost without a break for nearly two months. But then, suddenly, it got much warmer and, within 48 hours, apart from one or two small drifts, it had disappeared. We had put out plenty of food for the birds and they all came (one morning I counted at least ten blackbirds). But now they are many fewer because their usual feeding places are clear of snow. And our snowdrops are all proclaiming that spring is on its way.

A new season, and new seasons require changes, different clothes, different activities and new expectations.

In the verses above, the young woman in the Song of Songs has been keeping warm and dry through the winter in the comfort of her home. Then, one night, her lover (the shepherd) comes and invites her out for a walk with him. She is so reluctant to leave the home where she feels cosy and settled. The picture of the new season that he paints is wonderful, flowers appear, doves coo, blossom is on the trees. What could be better? But, for her, there’s a problem. It isn’t just that she’s got used to the warmth of home. It turns out that he wants her to come with him over what she calls ‘rugged mountains’. At night! That’s scary. Better let him go on his own, and she’ll stay at home.

What she hasn’t really understood is that, when a new season comes, it’s time to move on. When the Good Shepherd comes and says, ‘It’s a new season, come with me’, it’s all too tempting to stay put, rather than accept the challenge of the unknown. That’s too like ‘rugged mountains’.

During the Covid pandemic, we’ve all had to learn to do things in new ways and to do without some things completely. We’ve probably hunkered down and made the most of it. As things begin to ease, it will be so tempting to relapse into what we were comfortable with a year ago. Maybe many of the old ways will continue to be right. But maybe we also need to be ready for Jesus to come to us and ask us to go with Him into His new season. It may look like ‘rugged mountains’, but they are safer in His company than our personal ‘safe places’. And, besides, in His company it will always be a ‘season of singing’.

You might like to open your bible, read Song of Songs 2:8-17 and ask God to show you what’s on His heart for you.

Prayer: Lord Jesus, You are the Good Shepherd. Thank You that wherever You lead me, I am always safer with You than in my own comfort zone without You. Today I choose to follow You wherever You take me in the days ahead. I may find it difficult, please help me to trust You. Amen.

Richard Griffiths When Richard retired from full-time Anglican ministry in Chichester in 2009, he and his wife, Sue, moved to Northumberland. He joined the ministry team at Ellel Grange in 2011, where he and Sue regularly ministered at healing retreats. They are now helping on the "Explore" team. They greatly enjoy walking in the beautiful Northumberland countryside and along the coast. Richard loves seeing God bringing people into a strong personal relationship with Him as their Father and the healing that comes with it.

 

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