Set-up – Wattle branches laid on the table with baskests of juice and damper made with sprinkles of acacia seed throughout. (Available at Kuranga Nursery)
After the devestation of a bush fire the wattle plant has a special role to play.
It has the ability to grow in places where there are little nutrients left in the soil. It shoots up quickly and as it does it restores the nitrogen levels in the eco system, making it possible for other plants to begin to grow.
It grows quickly so it can provide shelter and shade for the slower growing plants around it, like the gum trees. The wattle protects these plants by producing a nectar that attracts sugar gliders who eat the insects that attack the other native plants around it.
Apart from a few of the 950 species, the wattle only lives for a short time but in that time it provides food, shelter and beauty to the landscape. Flowering in winter and early spring at a time when little else is in bloom.
Humans and animals alike use this plant for many things and it is normally planted in regeneration projects such as in old mines and on steep embankments where it prevents soil erosion and provides a filter to prevent the pollution of the water below.
Today we eat wattle seed damper as our communion meal. Reminding us that God provides the earth and its inhabitants with the hope of new life in every situation. The wattle reminds us of the beautiful life of Jesus. He grew up before us, showing us the way to live, he left us with the holy spirit to help us grow in relationship with God and and he died as a sacrifice, that we may have life beyond death. Let us eat.
In his last meal Jesus said that he wants us to drink in memory of him, and that he will not drink again until we all drink together in the new kingdom. We look forward to that time, we drink to Jesus coming again. Let us drink.
By Emma Morgan