WHAT ARE WE PLANTING?Read Now
It seems that while all the trees in our area are doing their thing, as in full pollen onslaught, thoughts of spring and new plant growth come to mind. In this season of Lent, we are invited to not only work into our faith through disciplined practices, we also make room for new growth in our spiritual lives. That new growth comes in the grace of God in our relationship with the risen Christ. That new growth also requires our involvement in the pruning, cultivating, or planting process.
Several springs ago when the pandemic began and we were all asked to stay home and keep "safe" distance from others, my household took on a backyard raised bed garden. I planted squash among other things. It grew and produced with abundance in that space and in that time. We had squash in every dinner meal for months! That vegetable garden and our back porch provided a place for conversation, hard work, and visible produce. We loved it.
So I wonder now what we are about in the planting stages of our faith as disciples of Jesus? In a recent conversation, I was reminded of the importance of gardeners - both those that produce food and those who cultivate faith. Thanks and blessings go to both. I would like to say more about those who tend to the gardens of faith.
I wonder who it is that is being called to teach and coach and mentor our younger disciples and families in this faith community. Particularly the mentoring. Teaching someone about gardening is one thing, but teaching someone while gardening with them is another thing. So it is with our faith in Christ. Many have been called to preach and teach about Jesus. But fewer are those that I can count in my life that actually taught me to know Christ while working with me, being with me, listening to me, loving me.
It well may be that one thing we can do in our church community is to spend more time together in the gardens of life. Building relationships was so important during the pandemic while we clustered with our families and small groups. Building relationships is also important now as we begin to vision new leaders, new paths, and new harvests for our churches.
Let me invite you to consider your mentoring gifts this season of Lent. Let me encourage you to invite another into your faith space to share your experience. Let me suggest that planting may be the most important work we are called to in these days. More soon on the harvest and those who are called to work as servants for Christ.
Along the Way
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Author: Paul E Harris
Journal posts from a pastor and spiritual friend