The Canadian Council of Churches met in Ottawa last week. During our two days of meetings, Marja and I went for a walk alongside the Rideau Canal. On the way we saw many beds of tulips. Some were done, their petals dry and scattered on the ground. Others were still in full bloom.
I got to thinking about the city crews who looked after them each year, making sure that Ottawa is a riot of colour every spring. We tend to take their efforts for granted, enjoying the sight without thinking about the men and women who take such pride in their work.
When I returned last weekend and approached the church doors again, I noticed that our planters had been re-done. They looked beautiful. I remembered that the planters had featured Christmas evergreens this winter and pussy willows and daffodils at Easter. Someone has made sure that our entry way is beautified every season. That person is Martha, one of the owners of Van Belle Flowers, and I want her to know that her efforts have not gone unnoticed by those of us who are attuned to our surroundings.
Thinking back, I believe that she has provided the church with constantly refreshed planters since we opened the doors of our new facility four and a half years ago. I don’t know how and when it gets done; all I know is that periodically our planters look beautiful again.
When God gave Moses the design of the tabernacle, he instructed Israel’s leader to make a lamp stand of pure gold featuring cups shaped like almond blossoms. Later, when Solomon built the temple in Jerusalem, the interior walls were made of cedar, carved with gourds and open flowers. In this way, God made sure that his world of natural wonders was celebrated in worship.
Martha stands in this flowery tradition, making sure that we are always welcomed into our worship centre with a lovely display of God’s creativity. So stop, and savour the sight. And let her know that her thoughtfulness is much appreciated.
- Pastor Peter