Saturday, March 20, 2010

Let Glasgow Flourish

I came across the motto "Let Glasgow Flourish" as I walked into Glasgow's Botanic Gardens on Wednesday. I took the above picture, because I liked the image of the city flourishing like a garden... especially seeing the words as I walked into a garden.

Then yesterday I encountered the phrase again at the Kelvingrove Museum, and asked about it. It's the motto of Glasgow, and it used to continue with the words " the preaching of Thy Word and the praising of Thy Name." The words are attributed to St. Mungo, patron saint and founder of the city of Glasgow. This city has a rich spiritual foundation, one that has largely been set aside.

The image of Glasgow flourishing like a garden has stayed with me. It reminded me of Isaiah 58:11-12, and as I looked up the passage this afternoon, I realized the context. The following verses describe promises God gives to Israel if they will practice true fasting, genuine worship, and pursue justice for the poor and oppressed.

The LORD will guide you always;
he will satisfy your needs in a sun-scorched land
and will strengthen your frame.
You will be like a well-watered garden,
like a spring whose waters never fail.

Your people will rebuild the ancient ruins
and will raise up the age-old foundations;
you will be called Repairer of Broken Walls,
Restorer of Streets with Dwellings.

These words describe the restoration of a city, a city again flourishing because of God's blessing, and because of His people's commitment to true worship and justice. Today, these words are on my heart for this city I've been visiting.

Let Glasgow flourish by the preaching of Thy Word and the praising of Thy Name.

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