There is a force in nature called “geotropism.” It simply means the movement of plant parts deeper into the earth. Dictated by gravity, the very end of a plant’s roots grows in a downward direction. Botanists consider this an impulse of faithfulness to the Earth. Inescapable, apparently no matter what you do to a plant within Earth’s atmosphere, this active, peculiar force will drive roots to grow down. To quote from my favourite book at the moment, a book on the ontology of plants, “Roots are the essence of descent” (Coccia, The life of Plants).
Plants are firmly situated (otherwise known as sessile) and in their immobility, they both collect the energy of sunshine and remain steady when storms come. This impulse of downward descent is instinctive and unfailing. What a relief to know it is at work beneath the Earth’s surface and the natural world responds obediently to its dictates. By way of science, I’m given a definition and an image of anchored life. An invisible force is elucidated, and I am comforted. What this means to me is there is a way to be held in place, especially in the midst of unavoidable chaos.
As a foreigner, permanently living overseas, in a global pandemic, I’ve had to grapple with the far-awayness of the familiar and the nature of my new home, now a place I can’t leave even if I wanted to. Whether I am ready or not, my roots need to descend and find locations of greater depth to hold me here. The territory is unfamiliar but knowing this steadying force of belonging to a place is at work in the world brings me peace. In yet another way, plants lead me and teach me about mysterious truth and help me return to my place with a creaturely calm. By universal design, descent is elemental and natural and good.
Collins Street Baptist Church
After the 40 days of Lent and the challenging journey of Holy Week, today we celebrate one of the pinnacle days in the Christian story, Resurrection Sunday. This day marks the beginning of the Easter season.
There are two videos provided. The first includes some words of gathering, music and prayers, and the second a reading from Matthew’s gospel along with words of reflection, poetry and song.
We meet tonight for our Maundy Thursday service. The night before his crucifixion, Jesus met with his disciples to share a final meal. With the elements of bread and wine, we participate in that meal, remembering together the sacrifice made for us in Jesus’ death.
Join us at 7pm by watching the video below. Remember to have with you some bread, something to drink — wine, grape juice or water — and a candle ready to light.
For our Palm Sunday gathering, we’ve provided two videos. The first includes a reading from the Hebrew Bible and prayers prepared and presented by Sherry and Geoff Maddock. The second includes the Gospel reading and a reflection from our pastor Carolyn Francis.
It is our usual practice at Collins Street to share in communion each first Sunday of the month. Given our circumstances, we have made the decision to provide a special service of communion on Maundy Thursday. If you would like to participate, you can return to this page on Thursday evening and share in a simple online service in which we share the elements of bread and wine together. In the next few days, we will provide some simple instructions via email to help you prepare.