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Unseen gardeners

Unseen gardeners

Something to read

What then is Apollos? What is Paul? Servants through whom you came to believe, as the Lord assigned to each. I planted, Apollos watered, but God gave the growth. So neither the one who plants nor the one who waters is anything, but only God who gives the growth.

- 1 Corinthians 3:5-7.

Something to think about

When I was first civilly partnered, I was delighted to move from soulless rooms in London house-shares into our first proper grown-up house of our own. Before jumping straight into adopting a kitten, we proudly got ourselves a few houseplants to nurture.

‘Why do people make such a fuss about keeping houseplants alive?’ I wondered to myself. ‘This is no effort at all, and they seem to be doing just fine with a hands-off approach.’ Before long, my partner had to go away on placement for a couple of weeks, and left me with care instructions for the plants. My smugness soon wore off.

Most Christian work is unglamorous, and much is unseen. In fact, our alarm bells might start to ring when an individual is too greatly venerated for their achievements. Whether pastoral ministry, campaigning efforts, or practical service, Paul uses this metaphor to remind us that all work done in the name of Christ depends on God for its success. That doesn’t mean that the tasks of planting and watering are unimportant – as I quickly found out – but that we amateur gardeners are free from the ultimate responsibility for growth of God’s plants.

Something to do

Consider who does the unseen work in your household, church, or work contexts, and find a little way to thank them. Better still, ask if there is anything you could do to help them feel more supported in their work!

Something to pray

God of growth, thank you that life springs from you, and yet you invite us to join in your creative work. Help me to appreciate the different work that you call each one of us too, encouraging the unnoticed ones, and giving all glory to you for our success. Amen.

Today’s contributor is Rev Claire Jones