I first came across this picture Consider the Lillies by Stanley Spencer when Stephen Cottrell (now Bishop of Chelmsford) led a meditation on it as part of a Springboard day at the end of the 90s. It is one of a series of paintings by Spencer on the theme of Christ in the Wilderness. Spencer had planned to create forty paintings on the theme but in the end only finished eight, having sketched out twenty.
I have a print of the painting in my Bible and every now and then find myself considering Consider the Lillies (Matthew 6:28-29). This morning as I sat in the conservatory of our new Rectory for my prayers I looked at the painting and then began to look again through the windows at the garden surrounding the house. The garden has been carefully tended while the house was vacant, just one of many things we are so grateful to the church for, but then there is the gift of the glorious bird songs and the plants beginning to poke through in unplanned places. The grass is gradually being carpeted with daisies suggesting I need to cut the grass. I think I’ll wait, not just because there is so much else to do, but because it might just remind me to take time to get down on my hands and needs and wonder at the graciousness of God.
And why do you worry about clothes? See how the lillies of the field grow. They do not labour or spin. Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendour was dressed like one of these.
Living in Essex with a very understanding family (understanding of my mood swings relative to Man Utd's fortunes), a dog named Branoc, rabbits and chickens (when the fox doesn't eat them). Team Rector of the Great Baddow Team Ministry in the Diocese of Chelmsford. I'm also a non-residentiary Canon of Chelmsford Cathedral and I enjoy hitting and kicking things, which I call drumming. The picture in the header is by Nathan Brisk.