The Bishop of Hull, the Rt Revd Dr Eleanor Sanderson, writes for the Diocese of York:

Growing the seeds of God’s Kingdom

Our liturgical year is drawing to its end; our year concludes with the powerful climax in the proclamation of Christ the King! Together we affirm Christ’s sovereignty in the kingdoms of heaven and earth.

Sadly there are so many distressing circumstances in our world that cry out for Christ’s kingdom to come.

Recently I was looking through the news headlines and amidst the causes of lament was the good news story of our own city of Hull. The city of Kingston upon Hull has become the first in the UK to grant a right to grow produce and vegetables for its citizens on unused council land. Whatever we may think of this innovation, it made me smile that Hull city was a source of good news and celebration in the midst of a hurting world.

It also made me think about the way that this could be a metaphor in God’s kingdom. Wherever there is desolate or unfruitful land, our Creating and Redeeming God is seeking to sow the seeds of the Gospel and to grow the fruits of Christ’s Kingdom.

May this be a prayer for our own lives too: that areas in our lives that feel barren or hurting, may become fresh seed beds or the fruit of the Holy Spirit.

We must always remember that it is God who gives the growth (1 Corinthians 3:7) but we can learn from Jesus’ Parable of the Sower and prepare the good soil in our lives.

May this liturgical year end with a fresh commitment from us all to allow our great gardener God to tend the landscapes of our lives for Christ’s Kingdom to come in greater fruitfulness amongst us.

“You did not choose me but I chose you. And I appointed you to go and bear fruit, fruit that will last” (John 15:16a)

+Eleanor