Blackberries and the Kingdom of God

Where do blackberries come from? Was one of the questions I asked at an Assembly at Austhorpe School last week. One little boy with his hand up replied “The supermarket.” Thankfully a good many more knew that at this time of year blackberries are quote “in the bushes”.

The humble blackberry is one of the joys of this time of year, something we can all harvest and take home for our pies and crumbles. Yet as I went on to tell the children the blackberry is not a cost free fruit.

The bramble on which it grows is prickly and if you pick them you’ll acquire a few thorns along the way too. The blackberry the fruit that makes us glad. The prickly picking that elicits the cry “ouch.”

And there lies the connection with our Gospel. At its end we heard ‘Strive first for the kingdom of God and his righteousness’ whilst being commanded not to worry. The fruit- the kingdom of God. The prickly stem – the worry, the struggle to keep that kingdom in our minds amidst our daily lives.

And how we worry. We worry about small things. We worry about big things. We know, intellectually at least that worry cannot ‘add a single hour to our span of life’ and yet we do it anyway.

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