The Garden Show
A play for the church, written with the help of some of the children at the 1996 Children’s Assembly.
Maggie: Good morning viewers. Welcome to The Garden Show. We have some fascinating gardens to visit today. First off, we will visit the garden of Miss Daffy Potts….
Daffy, such a lovely view over the harbour.
Daffy: Is there? I suppose you’re right. I don’t take much notice of it really.
Maggie: (enthusing) Oh yes! This is a site with a lot of potential. I’ll be interested to see what you’ve done with it.
Daffy: Yes. Well that is just what I was going to show you. Just come over here, Maggie. Come along now, don’t dawdle over the view. Look over here. I’m proud of this. This is my concrete garden.
Maggie: Your concrete garden?
Daffy: Yes…yes. I was all inspired one day. I thought, well, if you can have a concrete jungle, surely you can have a concrete garden.
Maggie: Oh, and what sort of plants are you managing to grow in it?
Daffy: (enthusiastically) Well, that’s the whole point of it. I’ve created an environment where nothing can grow. No nasty weeds, and no messy plants.
Maggie: (doubtfully) Oh yes. But I see you have a few older bushes around here.
Daffy: Yes. They’re the only ones I liked. They’ve been here almost forever. Familiar friends.
Maggie: Mmmmm. They certainly look old. Daffy, have you noticed there’s some rot around the base of their trunks. I don’t think they’ll last much longer. This one here is dead. You’ll need to remove it.
Daffy: Oh, surely not! I’ll just put a stake in to hold it up. It’ll last a few more years.
Maggie: Well, perhaps you could grow some geraniums over the top to give a bit of green.
Daffy: Oh!!! I couldn’t. Green is such a loathsome colour. It reminds me of…of… growth.
Maggie: But isn’t that what gardening is all about? New life? Growth? Giving things a good start so that they can thrive?
Daffy: But growth means change. It’s so unnecessary. I like things to remain the same. Anyway since it’s plants you’re interested in, I’ll show you my passion fruit vine.
Maggie: It has certainly been pruned well. Did you do it?
Daffy: Oh yes. I’ve heard that if you let passion fruit grow by itself, it gets very rampant. I’m not having it running everywhere, so I snip out all the new shoots, and that keeps it contained.
Maggie: Well you certainly have a passion for passion fruit pruning. Have you ever had any fruit from it?
Daffy: Well... no. It never has blossomed or produced fruit. (Kicks it) and I don’t know what’s wrong with the stupid thing.
Maggie: Well you certainly have a unique garden. Your style is one of a kind. (to the viewers as well as Daffy) Now remember that daisies always add life and colour to a helpless garden.
Daffy: Oh thank you. I’m glad my garden’s not helpless, because I really hate those little daisies.
Maggie: Well thank you for showing us your garden. Now it’s over to Bill.
(Maggie and Daffy move off stage and Bill comes centre stage while Russell stands a little way off from him to the side.)
Bill: Hello viewers. Well here we are to look at the vegetable garden of Russell Sprout. (Moving towards him) Hello Russell.
Russell: Why, hello Bill.
Bill: What a glorious day.
Russell: Well seeing as you've come to see the garden, we'd better show you the garden.
Bill: Good. Lead the way
Russell: Now Bill, I’d better tell you.. I'm a really dedicated gardener. Watering... I’m always out there watering. You know I water that garden every day until the water comes up to me ankles. One day I watered that garden when was rainin so hard it, it was fair hosin down. Raining dogs and cats like, and the water was so deep it got into me boots. Fair dinkum.
Bill: You might be watering it a bit much, Russell.
Russell: Oh I don’t think so , Bill. Remember, watering is the secret of making things grow. Well, anyway Bill, I was telling you about this garden. You know, I have a bit of a problem. You see every year I put in a couple of punnets of cabbages, and they just never seem to come to anything in spite of all the care they’re given.
Bill: Hmmm. Russell, I wonder what sort of sun they’re getting. Does the sun ever come around here?
Russell: Well, no. As a matter of fact, no. No. Point is, we didn’t want to use the sunny part of the section for the garden. See the sunny part you can see from the kitchen window. Now the wife says, ‘Russell, fine. Have a veggie garden. But keep it out of sight, around the corner. I don’t want to look out on all those little veggies.’
Bill: Mmm. Sun is very important to getting anything out of the ground. If you want a good crop of cabbages you’re going to have to grow them in some sun, even if you do have to look at them. And I’m wondering too, Russell, with all that ‘waterin’, if the goodness is being washed right out from the soil. Do you use any compost or fertiliser?
Russell: Ooooh. Compost or fertiliser…. Well, that’s a bit new fangled and fancy, isn’t it? Now look, Bill…. I’ve been trying to make cabbages all my life, and there aren’t any in sight, so I think I’d know a bit about growing cabbages. Don’t you think?
Bill:(diplomatically) Well, time’s up. I’d better return to Maggie. (Russell goes off stage. Bill moves towards centre where Maggie comes on to join him.)
Maggie: So let’s run over some points from this week’s show.*For plants to grow to full potential they need the right environment.
Bill: This means have the plants that like shade in the shade, and the plants that like sun in the sun.
Maggie: Yes. That’s right. If we try to grow plants in places that don’t suit them, we can’t expect healthy growth, and it may even kill them.
Bill: Find out what your plants need and give it to them. Look after them and be prepared to spend a bit of time and money on them to help them to flourish.
Maggie: * And don’t forget that change is not necessarily a bad thing. If you’ve been trying the same thing on your plants for a while, and they’re still not growing, try something different. Change can often be for the best.
Next week on The Garden Show we’ll be talking to a celebrity who has transformed an exquisite dahlia garden into a barren hillside. Oh no I mean a barren hillside into an exquisite dahlia garden. Thank goodness! We’ll see you next week.
Revolution, Treason, and an
Act of Mercy -
Victorian Spirituality for our times?
In 1848 there was an uprising in Ireland and eight young men were convicted of treason and sentenced to death. It was a harsh sentence, but in keeping with the mood of the times.
Yet, the young Queen Victoria heard the voice of protest from around the world, and was persuaded by it. Led by an inner voice of conscience, and wise advice, she decided to commute the death sentences. The men were sent to imprisonment in Australia.
Thirty years passed. In 1878 the Queen learned that a Charles Duffy had been elected Prime Minister of Australia. It was the same Charles Duffy she had sent to Australia, and upon whom she would later bestow a knighthood. She asked what had become of the others.
Patrick Donahue had become a brigadier general in the US army. Morris Lyene was Attorney-General for Australia, Thomas McGee was minister of agriculture for Canada, Terrence McManus was a brigadier general in the US army, Thomas Meager was elected govenor of Montana, John Mitchell was a prominent New York politician, and his son Mayor of New York, and Richard O'Gorman was govenor of Newfoundland.
That is quite extraordinary.
Queen Victoria cannot possibly have forseen what that moment of commuting the death sentence would come to mean in history.
In the ordinary events of life we too have opportunities for acts of grace and mercy. Who can say what the long term outcomes will be? But doing them will daily bread to us.
A Communion Liturgy
Introduction & Institution
As we share communion together
We are taking part in a drama that is very, very old-
A drama that Jesus taught his disciples shortly before he died;
A drama that he wanted them to repeat when they came together.
Jesus on the night when he was betrayed took a loaf of bread,
And when he had given thanks
He broke it and said,
‘This is my body which is given for you.
Do this in remembrance of me.’
And in the same way after supper
He took the cup as well, saying,
‘This cup is the new covenant in my blood.
Do this as often as you drink it
In remembrance of me.’
As we share communion together
We are celebrating something that is current-
That is real for us now.
We believe that Christ is present to us here
In the bread and in the wine,
That this is a point where we may meet God
And where God would meet us.
It does not matter how we come to be here
Or what our record has been so far,
Anyone who wants to follow Jesus
Is welcome to share in this meal.
As we share communion together
We catch something of the future…
Of the communion we will share with God
And with all God’s people through our Saviour Jesus Christ,
When God’s kingdom comes in its completeness,
At the end of time.
The Great Thanksgiving
Let us give thanks to God.
Let us pray…
Creator God, when the world was in its beginning,
You were there.
You were the one who gave form to its formlessness.
You enabled it to sustain life.
You brought all that lives to life.
You are its creator and our creator
And we offer you our praise.
Loving God, we thank you for your Son, Jesus.
We thank you for his life and his death.
We rejoice in his resurrection.
Through him we know most clearly the depth and quality of your love,
Through him we experience your saving grace,
Through him we have hope,
And we offer you our praise.
With this bread and with this cup
We do as Jesus commands:
We celebrate the redemption that he has won for us.
Living God, pour out your Holy Spirit on us
And on these gifts of bread and wine,
That they may be for us the body and blood of Christ.
Make us one with him,
One with each other,
And one in ministry in the world.
All glory, honour and power be yours, now and forever.
The bread we break is a sharing in the body of Christ….
The cup we take is a sharing in the blood of Christ….
The gifts of God for the people of God.
We say together The Lord’s Prayer…
Tuakau Union Teens
U R amazing and magnificent.
Peace, joy and happiness for our world.
Let all in the world be fed.
Forgive us our sins as we forgive
Those who hurt and annoy us.
Help us not to react
But to think first!
For you are the greatest!
U own the world and everything in it,
For ever + ever
U R 2 big to understand.
Help us to make your world a better place.
We need peace.
We need sharing.
We need to remember your rules.
Forgive us when we forget to do your ways,
To care for those who are hurting.
When we are rude or unkind,
When we are selfish
Help us to be forgiving and
not to hold onto hurts.
Awesome God – all the world is yours
U R there forever. Amen.
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