Introducing Celebration Sundays

God saw all that he had made, and it was very good.” Genesis 1:27

When God created the world, God said that it was very good. But how often do we take time to stop and recognise and even celebrate God’s wonderful creation? Particularly as we reflect on the climate crisis, it can be easy to become despairing of the state of our planet, that we forget to embrace the beauty of creation, and its potential for abundant life.

That’s why this Lent, we are inviting you to celebrate our world by taking time each week for an activity which will help you to reflect and appreciate just how awesome God’s creation truly is.

This Celebration Sunday, we are inviting you to:
Plant a seed or a bulb and watch it grow throughout the course of lent.

I remember growing a ‘beanstalk’ in primary school. We each cut the top off a plastic bottle and placed a bean seed in the bottom of it, resting on a damp bit of kitchen roll. We then placed our bottles on the windowsill at the back of the classroom, ensuring they had enough sunlight. We were instructed to water them every couple of days to make sure they had the right conditions to grow.

I remember being one of the 30 enthusiastic children who would eagerly hurry to the back of the classroom each morning (and often again in our break times!) excited to see any developments. We would watch in awe as roots started to grow and as the green shoots started to sprout. We would revel proudly as we measured and took note of every extra centimetre that our little beanstalk  grew. And then, at the end of the experiment, we finally got to taste the beans for ourselves, knowing that we had played a part in its journey from a little bean seed to a magnificent bean plant!

Whilst the primary purpose of this task was to teach us about the germination of plants, it had a bigger effect. It showed us as kids our important role in caring for nature; how we could play a part in enabling life to flourish!

This weekend  we want to invite you to plant a seed or a bulb. As you take your time to nourish and nurture it we want to encourage you to follow its journey of growth, celebrating each step of its journey to flourishing. Take time to reflect  on how this is just one of the many intricate details of God’s creation. And as you do so, may you allow yourself to have the same childlike excitement as those 30 enthusiastic children watching their beanstalk grow.

Only got a minute? Why not pick a plant you see every day, perhaps on your way to work or school, or in your garden. Take time each day to note what it looks like, how it changes and responds to nature. As you do so, reflect on the part God plays in the life of all creation.

Our Celebration Sunday reflections are written by Josie Horton. Josie is this year’s JPIT intern. This is her first Living Lent and she will be giving up single-use plastics.