From seed to fruitfulness is the theme for January’s “Crown Him with many Crowns” event, and we on the Ipswich in Prayer team have been reflecting on this theme in our preparations.
A particular verse from the Parable of the Sower, as told by Jesus in Matthew 13, has been particularly uppermost in our minds over the last week or so.
That verse comes at the conclusion of the parable, where Jesus said, “Still other seed fell on fertile soil, where it produced a crop - a hundred, sixty or thirty times what was sown.”
Many “seeds” have been planted in and around Ipswich over the last few years. Town Pastors is an example of a well grown plant bearing fruit; Talitha Koum has gradually been growing to maturity; other initiatives such as CYM’s school chaplaincy are in their infancy; and some like Open Up (responding to domestic abuse in the Church) are still germinating, and just poking their heads above the surface.
Isn’t it good to see God at work, and His Kingdom advancing in our town. Even fully mature plants still need tending, and the young ones call for much care.
Paul talks in 1 Corinthians 3 of how he planted the seed, Apollos watered it, “but God has been making it grow”.
Paul is addressing the Corinthian Church at this point in light of a background of jealousy and quarreling, some following Apollos, some Paul. But Paul’s plea is for unity. He says that both he and Apollos are merely servants, each assigned to his task by the Lord, both, he says, having one purpose.
Good ground for seeds to be planted, is surely fertilised by unity, and by prayer.
Psalm 133 tells us that there is a place where the Lord commands a blessing - where we dwell together in unity. God, we are told many times in the Bible, responds to the prayers of his people.
With all the needs in our town and our nation today, the need for God’s presence and blessing has never been more apparent. Please come and pray with us “Thy Kingdom Come, Thy Will be done” as we move in to 2018.
Over the coming month, as we lead up to the Crown Him event, let’s reflect and pray, asking God collectively and individually “What seeds are you wanting to plant here?” In our own lives and in our collective life as His body, here in this town which He loves so much.
Let’s be praying for those plants and seeds already mentioned - Town Pastors, TK, CYM chaplains, Open Up, together with the Winter Night Shelter and other initiatives that come to mind, that lives would be touched and transformed this Christmas by the Saviour’s presence - Immanuel, God with us.
Pray too for our church leaders, worship leaders, all those who will be speaking, singing, or acting out the love of God in our churches and communities as Christmas approaches. May it be an extra special time, and may many seeds fall into fertile ground in hearts, minds and lives.
Crown Him with many Crowns, the Lamb upon His throne.
These blogs are written by different people from the IIP team. They are prompted by the things we talk about and pray about when we meet together and by words shared from the praying community in Ipswich.