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Prayer for the Week – 15th June 2024

Prayer for the Week – 15th June 2024
June 15, 2024 Bronwen

Weekly Reflection MWiB June 15th 2024

Mark 4:26 34 The Parable of the growing seed

Jesus tells two stories about seeds , reminding us that it is from small beginnings and through organic growth, that the kingdom comes about – and what better time  to share the specific timing of our trip to Japan – to see the growth from seeds, that is the famous ‘Blossom Trail’

We knew when planning our trip that there had to be an element of luck to seeing the full extent of the blossom – the explosion of colour as all the blossoms arrive can be nailed into a fairly small window, but it is still weather dependent on its accuracy and we knew we ran the risk of missing it by days – but the planning also had to be made around school holidays (Natasha is a teacher) and flight availability – we made the decision and booked almost 12 months in advance so there was always an element of risk attached.

Well, we had nothing to worry about – the planning was as near to perfect as we could hope (there was quite a bit of prayer went in during the final weeks !) and as we arrived in Tokyo on March 29th the first blossom had just started appearing – 5 days later than usual due to the inclement weather.   As we left a few days later to travel down to Kyoto they were well into full bloom and we had witnessed this in all its glory.  As we travelled through other areas of Japan – including Hiroshima, as shared last week, the beauty of the Japanese blossoms were clear for all to see – so many people were posing for photos beneath the varieties of colours it was almost impossible to get a photo with no-one in  and the photographs really do not do it justice.

In 2023 seeds were gifted to Glasgow City Council as part of an international peace initiative – the seeds being grown in Glasgow were harvested from a Ginkgo tree in Hiroshima which miraculously survived the bombing, and coincidently were nurtured in the botanic gardens by a staff member who was originally from the Hiroshima area Known as the survivor tree, it still grows in Hiroshima’s famous Shukkeien Garden. The international Mayors for Peace project distributes seeds from the tree to cities around the world, to be grown on and planted out as lasting symbols of peace. Staff were thrilled to receive the seeds and carefully planted them – but couldn’t be certain they would grow. Ginkgo Trees are very common in Japan – they are very hardy trees, but staff still weren’t sure if the seeds would germinate so were relieved when the seedlings appeared and were reported to stand at 15 – 20 cms tall in 2023. At that time Hiro, the staff member involved stated: “Hopefully, they will grow to be tall and strong enough to be planted out in Kelvingrove Park where the trees could live for at least 100 years and remind everyone of the importance of peace. I hope no one ever forgets what happened at Hiroshima”.

StF 92 Think of a world without any flowers

Prayer: Just a tiny seed, Lord, but with such a hope of life, energy and possibility crammed into a tiny shell, waiting for warmth and moisture to unlock all its potential. God our creator,  bestower of our life, giver of our gifts, plant us in the warm earth of your love,  shower us with grace, so that we are awake to the possibilities of change and alive to our potential to work for your Kingdom.

Philippa Hill, Trustee: Bolton & Rochdale and Lancashire Districts