May 2, 2020
April Showers Bring May Flowers
The Spring time often has us looking forward to more outdoor time and enjoyment of the garden. This year, unlike any other, prohibits us from simply going to the gardening store for soil, fertilizer, seeds and the like. This year, unlike any other, cautions us against congregating in parks and beaches and recreational areas of many kinds. So “getting out” is a bit more problematic than usual.
The pandemic has changed our lives. Of course this does not mean that we cannot garden or that the earth won’t yield its produce. But the human side of the gardening and outdoor time seems quite changed.
However, our mission in the Kingdom of God has not changed. We are still to receive the seed that will bring about a harvest in the Fall and before. Jesus used the farming or gardening image to remind us that we need to be aware of the soil conditions of our gardens, of our hearts, as the place where the seed is planted.
In Luke 8: 4ff. Jesus reminds us the seed of the Gospel was planted in our lives and brought forth fruit in relationship with God through Jesus in the power of the Holy Spirit. He reminds us that the seed is good but that it depends on the soil in which it is sown. Sometimes we hear the Word and receive it, but then because we do not practice getting to know Jesus better, we find the Word snatched away from our lives. Continued relationship with Jesus is a conscious choice we need to make over and over, day by day. He is faithful. We need to be so as well. Let us repent, if we find ourselves reading this and are convicted.
Similarly, the weeds of the garden can choke out the good produce. Jesus tells us the weeds of our lives are “worries, riches and pleasures” that take us away from his priorities and love. Don’t let your spiritual life be destroyed by the worries of the pandemic, by trusting in your bank account or fearing the lack thereof, nor by the heavily distracting addictive nature of pleasures of many kinds. Jesus wants you to weed the garden of your heart. Determine to do so and do so today.
This is a shallow soil condition, with a rock shelf or the like underneath, which allowed good growth for a while, but stunted and killed the plants later on. Don’t let the present circumstances of social distance and a deeply affected routine put you off of your heart’s desire for the Lord. He knows what you need. Seek out the small groups over computer and the phone that will help you continue to experience the goodness of the Lord and the nourishment of His Word. Continue to come to Sunday morning worship, even though its over the computer. Trust Him at His Table.
There may be things in your life that stink. There may be pieces or parts of your life that are only suitable for the compost heap. Remember that God can compost the garbage of your life into soil enriched growth. That for which we may be ashamed or embarrassed may be perfect fertilizer for the spiritual garden of your heart.
The garden can be a place of great pleasure and produce. We trust the gardening of your heart this Spring will be a similar place of wonder and praise to God. And remember as you take care of your own garden, to sow the good seed of the Gospel into others’ gardens.
And don’t hesitate to contact me or any of the Elders with your questions and concerns.