My Father, The Gardener (April)

James Cathcart March 29, 2020 0

April 2020 (29 March - 2 May). See the Resource Pack PDF for full details including weekly subthemes and daily prompts and Bible readings. See the Discussion Group Questions PDF to see the material adapted for small groups.

As we head into Holy Week and Easter we will consider the generosity of our God who wants us to flourish. God doesn’t just want us to survive — we have been created to grow, develop and blossom — rooted in love, branches of the true vine. Over the previous month (What We Really Need) and this one we are on a journey 'Beginning to Flourish' with God and one another, exploring how the Ultimate Gardener finds us where we are —whatever soil we are in — and nourishes us tenderly.

God has given us within ourselves, within our friendships, within our communities, within our world — the means to live and live productively and creatively. Who we are and the choices we want to make matter. We are not just cogs in a machine or workers in a hive. We are individual and idiosyncratic. There has never been and there never will be someone just like you with your combination of personality and experience and genetics. 

You are a unique creation and God wants you to live but also to feel fulfilled in that life — able to blossom into the fullest version of you.

From the shoots that grow in and amongst the rubble and hard ground of desperate need to the copious fruit of the groaning branches of the overspilling vineyard, our God cares for us and nurtures us. 

The journey can be seasonal and cyclical with times of growth and then times of pruning back. We might flourish for a time before finding ourselves back to first principles for a season. Times of bearing fruit and times of lying fallow. But through it all our Father the Gardener never abandons us, caring despite everything so that we survive, thrive and flourish, even becoming apprentice gardeners ourselves.

Over the weeks we will explore:

  • Gardener and Baker — considering the Bread of Life
  • Wine of the Spirit — exploring the enlivening gift of the Holy Spirit
  • Jesus the Vine — becoming branches ourselves
  • Apprentice Gardeners — our invitation to play our part in the garden
  • Flourishing Together — reflecting on living so that all may flourish

See the Resource Pack PDF for more information including weekly subthemes and daily Bible readings and prompts. See the Discussion Group Questions PDF to see the material adapted for a small group context.