Farm to City Sunday: 10th June 2018

I have long longed for it to happen. Now it has happened ….. maybe. Or now we have seen how it can happen …. maybe.

The prophet Zechariah lived in hard times, but at a time when hope was being renewed …. maybe.

He had a vision I have long wanted to embrace, or wanted to see fulfilled in a God way.

Maybe – it is often maybe – we have seen how it could be fulfilled in a social way.

‘This is what the Lord Almighty says:

“Once again men and women of ripe old age will sit in the streets of Jerusalem, each of them with cane in hand because of their age. Once again the city streets will be filled with boys and girls playing there.”

‘This is what the Lord Almighty says:

“It may seem marvellous to the remnant of this people at that time, but will it seem marvellous to me?” declares the Lord Almighty.”

We have seen the streets filled, and with people of every age, those of ripe age with canes, those wheeled in push chairs and carried in arms, boys and girls hurrying from cubicle to cubicle, adults open eyed or with nodding heads.

As we closed up for the final time last evening, I heard a lady say loudly to her friends, while walking past, ‘I can’t believe Providence have done this. I can’t believe it is happening.’

A woman instagramed the comment, ‘this morning I walked past a queue of school children bubbling with excitement to see animals from Shallowford Farm.’

We’ve been facebooked, snap chatted, tweeted, posted, talked about.

Yesterday our community day was not overwhelming but 300 people visited and went away enriched.

A 1000 have come into the farm and learned, and we hope a difference has been made. 2,3,4 maybe five thousand have passed and smiled or raised eyebrows or just stared.

An aggregate team of approaching 50 people have worked together to make it happen.

And if you pass by mid-morning today, you will see an empty car park. It will be quiet. It will be all over. The animals will be en route back to Dartmoor’s rolling hills, and to join the flock or herd, dreaming of London streets, recalling fond memories of short lived fame (?!).

The prophets dreaming was bigger than a one-off event. He was looking beyond that to something more restorative, more redemptive.

This is what the Lord Almighty says:

“I will save my people from the land of the east and the west. I will bring them back to live in (in the city) they will be my people, and I will be faithful and righteous to them as their God.” (Zechariah 8.4-8).

The longing is for restored connections.
People connecting together in community.
People connecting with the living the world, the created world, the God given world.
People connecting in God. In God through His Son. In God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
And that is the heart of the matter.

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