The sight of Mimosa coming into flower is a bright light in the gloom of a cloudy January.  There are two large trees on the edge of Poole on the way to the Crematorium, and another smaller tree on the roundabout approaching the Sainsbury’s car park in Poole.  Arriving there today to bank the Christmas services' giving across the churches, I was uplifted to see the yellow blossoms opening.  It has a long flowering period too.  We should be able to enjoy it for some weeks while the spring bulbs catch up.

It will be a long time before the branches of most other trees are making new growth and bursting into flower like the Mimosa, but Jeremiah reminds us this morning of a different kind of branch: A righteous branch.  We were reading from Jeremiah chapter 23 verses 1-8 (which like Isaiah chapter 9, and even more obviously in Isaiah chapter 11, which we read at Christmas time) speaks of a branch of King David that will usher a new era of peace and righteousness.  Hope is in the air, as we begin this season of Epiphany and experience the flowering of nature and the revelation of the Christ in our midst.  Dark and gloomy January is lit up with a vibrant message of renewal.

John Mann