Red peppers (08-10-21)
A Bible Reading: The Parable of the Growing Seed (Mark 4. 26 – 29) Jesus said, “This is what the kingdom of God is like. A man scatters seed on the ground. Night and day, whether he sleeps or gets up, the seed sprouts and grows, though he does not know how. All by itself the soil produces grain—first the stalk, then the head, then the full kernel in the head. As soon as the grain is ripe, he puts the sickle to it, because the harvest has come.”
A Thought I recently went into Walgrave School to take a Harvest Assembly, a first for me since I came to Walgrave. It was quite an experience with two classes in the hall with me and four classes on Zoom on the laptop beside me.
I decided to take some home-grown red peppers to illustrate Jesus’ parable of the growing seed. To be honest, I am rather proud of my red peppers this year. I started by collecting some seeds from a shop bought red pepper. I dried them slightly for a few days and then planted them, four seeds to a pot, in five separate pots. I normally buy my seeds, so I was a little dubious whether anything would grow. However, imagine my delight when a week or so later shoots began to appear. All but two seeds were coming up. All by themselves these little seeds had germinated and sprouted and pushed up strong shoots through the soil. Amazing! As the spring and summer progressed, we have enjoyed a steady supply of red peppers and some of the plants are still going strong.
During the assembly, I retold Jesus’ parable using pepper seeds. Keen volunteers came and planted the seeds, four to a pot, a pot for each class. If kept warm and watered regularly, the children should be able to watch the pepper plants grow in their classrooms ‘all by themselves’. (I have also planted two pots, so I can monitor progress at home.)
In true Blue Peter ‘here’s one I grew earlier’ fashion, I then produced a full-grown pepper plant complete with a ripening red pepper. We examined a ripe pepper and cut it open to see that this one pepper had lots of new seeds inside with all the potential for many more pepper plants. On reflection, we should have counted just how many seeds.
It brought home to me once again God’s plan for natural multiplication. Many plants produce more than one seed to help their species propagate themselves. Jesus says, this is what the Kingdom of God is like. We scatter the seeds of the gospel in good ground and all by themselves they take root and begin to grow until they come to fruition and harvest time.
It is a joy and a privilege to go into our local school and sow the stories from the bible into the lives of our children. In October we will be relaunching ‘Open the Book’ assemblies with a new team from church, acting out bible stories with the children. Join us in praying that as these seeds of the gospel are sown into these young lives, they will fall into good ground where they will germinate, flourish and grow.
A Prayer Lord Jesus, we pray for our children and young people. May they learn and remember, so that they grow in wisdom and stature, and grow closer to you. Amen.
Cauliflowers fluffy, popular in Primary Schools for their Harvest Festivals