Spring at the bandstand

Julie and Steve led us this last Sunday in a very special time together. Here’s their stuff!


Please remember to leave your anxieties

As you make your first foot step on the path Feel the warm greeting

The sun’s got your back.

Listen to the birds sing:

They’re pleased to share life with you

Don’t be surprised

If you seem to understand their voice

It’s the joy of living.

Walk with rhythm,

pace and purpose

Remember many feet have touched

Where yours do now

Silence your thoughts

And let your Maker

Fill your ears with

the language of his love

Receive this, soak it in

Let you eyes feed on

Lime and emerald greens,

and cerulean blues,

brown and chestnut ochres

nature’s dazzling hues

Fill the pockets of your

hungry soul with spring’s abundance.

Taste the air – breathe it deeply

and receive again the glad invitation to the dance,

in step with God beside.

(with acknowledgement to Andrew Rudd, ‘Rules for Visiting a Cathedral’ 2018)

Spring is finally arriving, gardens need tidying, plants need feeding, shoots are poking through  and blossoms are beginning to show. So today I want to think about nurture,  feeding, pruning, watering and preparation for growth.

The last two times I have shared with you I have used ‘the woman at the well story’ and  guess what: I’m going to start with it again today.

John 4 10-15

10 Jesus answered, “If you knew the generosity of God and who I am, you would be asking me for a drink, and I would give you fresh, living water.”

11-12 The woman said, “Sir, you don’t even have a bucket to draw with, and this well is deep. So how are you going to get this ‘living water’? Are you a better man than our ancestor Jacob, who dug this well and drank from it, he and his sons and livestock, and passed it down to us?”

13-14 Jesus said, “Everyone who drinks this water will get thirsty again and again. Anyone who drinks the water I give will never thirst—not ever. The water I give will be an artesian spring within, gushing fountains of endless life.”

15 The woman said, “Sir, give me this water so I won’t ever get thirsty, won’t ever have to come back to this well again!”

Song of Songs 2:11-13

11 See! The winter is past;
    the rains are over and gone.

12 Flowers appear on the earth;
    the season of singing has come,
the cooing of doves
    is heard in our land.

13 The fig tree forms its early fruit;
    the blossoming vines spread their fragrance.
Arise, come, my darling;
    my beautiful one, come with me.”

So I have  a visual aid- “The tree of life” to  help us think about our  thirst and our hunger.

The tree of life (and the rivers flowing from the throne of God) mirrors the original tree in the garden of Eden, providing hope of sustained life with Yahweh. In this way, the tree both recalls the garden story and also provides an expectation of future hope.

So take ten minutes to walk or stand

 Be  brave and  try taking your shoes and socks off to  stand on (holy ) ground. Feel your roots going down deep connecting with Gods good earth.

Know that you are unconditionally loved.

Think about what you hunger for, what you thirst for and ask Jesus to be your nourishment and the Holy Spirit to fill you with living water.

Do we  need to be pruned in order for our roots to go deeper to allow us individually and as a group to flourish ?

What might our flourishing look like ?

You might want to look around for symbols of God’s nourishment to attach to the tree of life on your return or you might like to choose a symbol from the box to stick on the tree or write on a post it to share your thinking with the group.

Time for feedback

 Prayer for ourselves and others



Open hearted God

Who welcomes with arms flung wide

Like doors slung open in excited haste,

We pray you may bless this place,

That it will be a space of open doors and open hearts. That it may be a place of welcome, love and hospitality and that it may offer sanctuary.

Open our hearts

That we may be a people of welcome, love and hospitality. That we may offer sanctuary.

That we may bless others.

Keep our hearts and our doors open to your Spirit

In the name of Christ

Who stands at the door and knocks willing us to open up.