I have a particular fondness for daffodils. They have always seemed to me to be a very cheery sorts of flowers, proud and confident with their bright yellows, contrasting with the deep green of their leaves and stalks. They also remind me of my grandmother, as she used to plant them in her garden, along with varieties that are less well known, like miniature tête-a-tête daffodils, which I don't think I've seen since.
The daffodil is strongly associated with Wales and their patron saint David, but above all I think the daffodil's bright colour brings a sense of warmth and expectancy after the cold dreariness of winter. They bring a splash of colour amid the grey dullness of January and February. Also, like the royal heralds dressed in their splendid robes, they announce loudly that spring is near, that the days are getting longer and the warmth will return again. There are better things to come, just wait!
This made me think of the message of hope that the Bible brings. Jesus's message was one of love and compassion to all people. He often spoke of the Kingdom of Heaven, a place where all are loved and all are at peace. Jesus knew that the world was not always a place of love and compassion. He knew that many people were more interested in wealth, self-interest and were uncaring for others. During his own life Jesus went out of his way to talk to those who thought that they did not deserve God's love, or who had been cast out by the local community. He spoke with lepers, tax collectors and prostitutes, he healed and told them that they too could receive God's love. The Kingdom of Heaven is a place where all feel and experience the love of God and Jesus wanted all people to experience what heaven was like here on earth.
After his death and resurrection, Jesus entrusted his disciples to continue his work, to speak with those on the outside of the community and to show them that they are loved by God. Like the daffodils that herald the coming of better times ahead, Jesus wanted the Church to be heralds of the Kingdom of God too. The Church does that by showing compassion and love to all, and by proclaiming the Good News of Jesus. The question for all of us is how do we play our part in this? How can we act like heralds of better things to come? Are we proud and bold like the daffodils? That is what we should strive to be, so I pray that we may all find our inner daffodil, proclaiming God's love for all and showing people the good things that are to come.
Rev'd Stephen Burge
About the Vicar's Letter
The Vicar's Letter has been appearing in the villages Focus magazine since August 2002.
The Rev. Peter Graham also used to publish The Vicar's Letter in the parish magazine of 1964. Please see the Vicar's Letter area for these.