Getting Nourishment From God
Sunday 22nd July 2012The Archbishop of York's column in The Sun today talks about getting our goodness and nourishment from God, the contribution of inspirational young leaders and preparing for the Summer Holidays! His column in full follows...
With the sad sight of limp lettuce, soggy strawberries, and rotting root vegetables in many of our fields and gardens this cold wet summer, the hope of this country’s gardeners must be turning to our apples and plums and pears. Surely, by the time our wonderful English fruit ripens in the early autumn, the weather will be warm and mellow! But will the awful weather have damaged them too much to recover in time for the harvest?
Living in England, we know we can’t rely on perfect growing weather in every season, and gardeners and farmers are always on the look-out for good ways of developing the hardiness of plants, increasing their yield, improving their quality.
One system favoured by many gardeners and growers is grafting, where a cutting from one plant is bound closely in to a robust host so that it can draw strength from it as it grows.
The art of grafting fruit and other plants has been around for thousands of years, and Jesus himself clearly knew all about how to get the best grapes from the vine, when he described himself as the true vine – the rootstock – telling us that those branches grafted on to him would bear the best fruit.
Our prayer today reminds us that we are only really productive when we are bound into God. Through him we receive all the goodness and nourishment our souls need; and the fruit of our behaviour and the way we live our lives comes from being part of God’s life and his family.
Lord of all power and might,
the author and giver of all good things:
graft in our hearts the love of your name,
increase in us true religion,
nourish us with all goodness,
and of your great mercy keep us in the same…
May we all grow in the sunshine of God’s love and grace.
Inspirational Young Leaders
Earlier this week I met Nathan Hooton – an inspiring young man doing my Young Leaders Award in York.
All of my Young Leaders do a personal challenge as part of the award. Nathan’s is so inspiring.
He told me that recently he found out that his neighbour was becoming increasingly ill as a result of his Down’s Syndrome illness. Knowing that he used to love gardening when he was well, Nathan did what many young people would do…and took over! He started renovating his neighbour’s garden.
He quickly got others involved and within weeks the garden was totally transformed! Like the heroes he learnt about whilst doing the Award, Nathan has demonstrated his love for others by doing something amazing.
There are so far 4,000 students doing the Young Leaders Award – why not Google it and tell the School near you to get involved. Together all these young people can make our country even more incredible than it already is!
Our schools broke up for Summer this week – I wonder what the holidays will hold for these young people?
I always think we should look forward to the future with hope. When I agreed to jump out of an aeroplane for the Third Parachute Regiment's charity, I was excited and filled with anticipation – but even happier when I landed safely!
To anyone who is thinking about making a change to their lives today, I say: Take a leap of faith! Take hold of God's hand and step confidently into what may seem frightening.
When we are on the first day of our holiday, we can look at life afresh. Well, with Jesus, every day is a fresh start. Every day is a new day. Every day presents us with the opportunity to be different.