Mothers’ Union Devotion Sunday 13th June 2021 the Second Sunday after Trinity

He also said, ‘The kingdom of God is as if someone would scatter seed on the ground, and would sleep and rise night and day, and the seed would sprout and grow, he does not know how. The earth produces of itself, first the stalk, then the head, then the full grain in the head. But when the grain is ripe, at once he goes in with his sickle, because the harvest has come.’ Mark 4. 26-29

Our diocesan vision calls us to: Tell a joyful story, build our capacity for good and grow the kingdom of God. As Mothers’ Union members, I think we are really good at the first two. A glance through ‘In Touch’, a visit to our website or Facebook page, our annual meeting reports are full of joyful stories. Then when we look at the lists of community projects at branch, deanery and diocesan level we see just how large is our capacity for bringing good to those families we support. What we are not always so confident about is our ability to grow the kingdom of God. For years, many branches have struggled with falling membership and indeed some branches have closed. The lack of meetings due to the coronavirus pandemic may feel like another pressure, which will threaten to reduce further the number of members or branches.

These three calls are not however things to be undertaken in isolation. They form a complete vision. As Mothers’ Union members in this diocese, when we tell a joyful story and build our capacity for good, we are also growing the kingdom of God. We probably are just not aware of it yet. Jesus alludes to this when he talks about the kingdom of God. How it grows almost in secret to begin with. Like the seed which sprouts underground. Little signs of the early growth can be seen if you look carefully at the surface of the soil. But we are not always aware of exactly what is happening out of sight. Of how our actions have planted seeds which God can germinate and encourage to grow.

As well as planting those seeds, we can like the farmer, keep a watchful eye out for when such God-given growth requires our help or support. Like the gardener providing sticks for the bean plants to grow up, we can offer our support to those who are taking those tentative steps in exploring and developing their faith. We can also be present at the harvest when such people whose faith we have helped plant or nurture are ready to join us in our mission, to support family life in our communities.  Be ready to welcome them with open arms into our branches and into our hearts.

With all my love and prayers

Revd Sandra