A TIME TO SOW
I am ready for Spring and so is the world around me. The trees are full of blossoms and they seem to be bursting with buds. By the time this newsletter reaches your hands we will be in the full season of Spring. Farmers and gardeners will have tilled to soil for another growing season.
Growing things certainly is a satisfying task. One of the parts of farm life that I miss the most is planting
season. By mid-April, we had started planting corn and were usually finished by mid-May. After the seeds were in the ground it was a matter of keeping an eye on the weeds, praying for sufficient rains, and watching the corn grow. Sharon and I also had a garden; however, most of its care was given by Sharon. We planted what most people plant in a home garden; onions, lettuce, carrots, peas, beans, potatoes, tomatoes, cabbage, and so on. Nothing is more satisfying than going out to the garden, picking fresh vegetables, and preparing a delicious meal.
The month of May will usher in the season of planting. On Sunday, May 22, we will hold our traditional service
of "The Blessing of The Fields.” It is so fitting, in our modern world, that we remain connected religiously with the seasons of planting and harvesting. It would be so easy, in this world where family farms are diminishing and corporate farms are the norm, where suburbia is swallowing our rural landscape, to loose the connection that we as a people have to the land. More and more, our planting and harvesting takes place when we go to the grocery store and buy what it is we need. As the suburban world encroaches upon us, this will be a scenario common to the majority of residents of our area.
Many times, Jesus would use agrarian images as methods of teaching those who would listen. The parable of the "sower" clearly describes the perils of a farmer who is trying to establish a crop. It is also a story about how vulnerable the word of God is when it is trying to become established in the hearts of those who hear. Those who listened to Jesus understood the importance of a productive fig tree, a well cared for vineyard, and the necessity to separate chaff from grain. Jesus used these images as a way to connect with those who listened. These images served as the vehicle for his word.
Besides being useful as a means of telling the story, images of planting and harvesting also illustrate a
fundamental understanding of God's creation. This world we live in is alive. God created it that way. God created humanity and the earth to exist in harmony, with one interacting with the other to produce good things. And in the midst of the interaction, there is the hand of God.
As we go about our planting this spring, let us all remember the sacredness of what we are about. We are carrying out a practice that has gone on for literally thousands of years. Let us all find time in our busy schedules to thank and praise God for our fertile soil and the bounty that it will produce. Let us also take time to see, and touch, and smell the beauty that spring brings.