Japanese Lantern

At St Nicholas’ Church in Husthwaite, I saw the remains of the year’s harvest display which included some Japanese Lanterns, more properly known as physalis alkekengi. In Japan, these plants are grown for their part in the Bon festival, in which the ancestors are honoured. There is some suggestion that these papery fruit-covers guide the spirits of the dead, though from where to where, I know not.

From time to time, people assure me that their deceased grandad or late mother is still hanging around, keeping an eye on them. I think this is wishful thinking, for the dead have enough on their plate without fretting over the affairs of the living. They are either contemplating a Christless eternity, or they are contemplating Christ Himself, awed by His beauty. No, Great-Aunt Fanny isn’t keeping her eye on you, but the Lord Jesus certainly is.