Monday, 9 May 2011



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.

1 comment:

Sam Norton said...

Hi Phil - off topic from your interesting post but does your old e-mail address still work? I want to arrange that pint/lunch re: ordination training :)