Christine Wilson, Dean John Patrick, Subdean Philippa White, Succentor
In the ancient wheat fields at the time of Jesus there was a particular weed called darnel or tares which looked exactly like wheat until very late in its growth cycle when the ears of seed on the plant begin to swell. Apparently the roots of these two plants would get hopelessly entwined together so it was difficult to separate the good from the bad until the time of harvest.
The Gospel reading for the 6th Sunday after Trinity explores the need for both patience and wise discernment. It calls for delaying final judgment until the last possible moment. As with so many of the parables the story is directed at us. We are likened to both the wheat and the weeds. Lives that are a tangle of good and bad intentions. Of both enormous potential and utter foolishness. Sometimes the good we try to do ends up going all wrong and curiously the bad things we do, by God’s grace, can sometimes, work out for good. They become what we might describe as “blessings in disguise.” The workers in the fields want to swiftly eliminate the weeds but they are cautioned to wait and bide their time rather than lose some of the precious harvest. The parable cautions against hasty judgments and a failure to wait patiently for good potential to be revealed.
I am reminded again of our local saint, Gilbert of Sempringham, who was initially written off by his parents at an early age as “a sad and desolate child, lazy and dull, poor at his studies, reticent and sullen and a disappointment to his father”. Gilbert goes on to be a remarkable man who founded a radical and inclusive English monastic order for men and women and was eventually named a saint.
Only this week I was having a conversation with a friend about the lush Bougainvillea plant in their conservatory. Despite a verdant display of leaves, he had given up hope of it flowering and was about to throw it out. Being a plant lover, I leapt up to inspect it more closely and spotted pin head sized flower buds all over the plant. We realized with delight that in a few weeks it had all the promise to be a glorious profusion of purple flowers. It had been so close to being consigned to the rubbish heap. Suddenly the plant was regarded in a whole new light and he began to water and feed it.
My story and the parable both invite us to think about our own lack of patience and the hasty judgments we so often make. We write people off as useless. We fail to see the potential in others or nurture the goodness and productivity all around us.
Thankfully, God is patient and delays judgment on us, ever hopeful and expectant, recognizing the beauty, goodness and light which is within each of us. The seeds of the gospel of Christ are scattered liberally along our paths and God waits patiently for signs of abundant life and good growth.
Of course, the parable is also a cautionary tale, warning us that ultimately, like the wheat and the tares a judgment will need to be made. For now, let us be on the lookout for the hidden gifts in others.
Christine Wilson, Dean
Not to be missed: Battles and Dynasties Exhibition is taking place at The Collection and Lincoln Castle, from 27 May- 3 September 2017. The exhibition forms part of the city’s remembrance of the 1217 Battle of Lincoln. Lincoln Cathedral’s Wren Library has loaned three items of print and illustrated manuscripts to the exhibition and they are currently on display at The Collection. These three important exhibits are displayed alongside objects of national and international importance. Amongst many important exhibits the highlight is the Lincolnshire segment of the 1086 Doomsday Book which is on display next to the Cathedral’s 1215 Magna Carta in the David PJ Ross Magna Carta vault. The Cathedral is delighted to be part of this important project and hopes that people will enjoy this very important exhibition.
Jekyll and Hyde: The Musical – Tuesday 22 August – Friday 1 September, 7pm in the Nave. When the Cathedral announced the follow up production to Jesus Christ Superstar was to be Jekyll and Hyde, more than a few eyebrows were raised. It was a bold choice perhaps, but absolutely in keeping with the Cathedral’s Christian purpose. Jekyll’s division of himself has a great deal in common with the apostle Paul’s description of the split in his own personality which Paul believes is common to us all. We have limited tickets available – please visit www.lincolncathedral.com for further details and tickets. Tickets start from £22 per person.
Hallé – Saturday 9 September 2017, 7pm in the Nave. Lincoln Cathedral’s previous Organ Scholar Ryan Wigglesworth will be returning to the Cathedral to conduct the Hallé Orchestra. There will be striking solo performances from Sophie Bevan and a programme which is certain to be stunning. The Orchestra will perform Strauss: Four Last Song and Bruckner; Symphony No. 9. Tickets are priced from £12 per person. For further information and tickets please visit www.lincolncathedral.com
The Snowman – Saturday 18 November, 5 performances – 11:30am, 1:30pm, 3:00pm, 7:00pm and 8:30pm in the Nave. After the huge success of last year’s Snowman, we are delighted to announce that it will be coming back this November with extra showing times. We welcome you to bring your family and watch this festive favourite in the Nave of the Cathedral, a truly spectacular setting. The show will be supported by a live orchestra and a soloist from the Cathedral Choir; we can promise that this will be a truly unforgettable performance and loved by the whole family. Tickets to go on sale on 1 August at 9:30.
Handel’s Messiah Saturday – 25 November 2017, 7pm in the Nave. The Lincoln Cathedral Choir are returning with their performance of this incredible piece of music, accompanied by the Lincoln Chamber Orchestra in the Nave of the Cathedral. The acoustics in the Nave are perfect for such a performance where one of the most famous pieces of choral music, the Hallelujah Chorus, will shine. For further information and tickets please visit www.lincolncathedral.com Tickets are priced from £18 per person.
Sunday 23 July 6th Sunday after Trinity
Sung Eucharist Isaiah 44.6-8; Romans 8:12-25; Matthew 13.24-30, 36-43
Mattins Deuteronomy 30.1-10; 1 Peter 3.8-18
Evensong 1 Kings 2.10-12, 3.16-end; Acts 4.1-22
Sunday 30 July 7th Sunday after Trinity
Sung Eucharist I Kings 3.5-12; Romans 8.26-end; Matthew 13.31-33, 44-52
Mattins Song of Solomon 2; I Peter 4.7-14
Evensong I Kings 6.11-14, 23-end; Acts 12 1-17
Sunday 6 August Transfiguration of Our Lord
Sung Eucharist Daniel 7.9-10, 13-14; 2 Peter 1.16-19; Luke 9.28-36
Mattins I Kings 19.1-16; John 3.1-31
Evensong Exodus 34.29-end, 2 Corinthians 3