Reflection for the Week 22nd July 2018

'His glory will shade the city from the heat of the day (Isaiah 4:4)'

In our garden are four large oak trees and the two in the back garden provide a large patch of shade in which to sit when the weather is very hot. Sitting in the garden often makes one realise just how many tasks in it remain undone, but if these reminders can be ignored for a moment the gardener can relax and enjoy the benefit of the shade.

Shade from heat is just one of the benefits of a garden. The lushness of the green of the grass, the brilliance of colour of flowers in bloom, their scent wafting on the breeze, and the glimpses of iridescence of birds and insects in flight delight the eye and calm us after periods of exertion. The quiet of the garden provides shelter from the busyness of daily life and allows us time to count our blessings and to be thankful. Sitting quietly also allows us opportunity to appreciate the pattern of clouds as they float along gently and to enjoy the song of the birds, especially very early every morning.

Towards the end of the day the sun drops to a lower angle causing the shadows of trees to lengthen and the pace of the world slows enough to enable us to enjoy the different scents that are produced when the light begins to fade. Sun seeking flowers shut their petals as if to prepare to rest and we retreat indoors as the sun's warmth declines.

When Isaiah looked forward to Jerusalem being rebuilt, after its people had spent a long time in captivity, he wanted the glory of God to be what marked the city as a safe place of shelter. May the glory of God mark out Wokingham to provide shade and shelter for all who live here.

                                                                                                                                                        Malcom Ray-Smith