I love gardening, but probably more the idea of it than the sweaty, dirty reality. I love the fruits of the labour, rather than the labour of love itself. I’m not the best gardener or overzealous about garden perfection. I simply enjoy being outdoors and being a part of the wonders of the fragile, yet fierce, flourishing of the natural world.
Some of my favourite stories of Jesus about God, and God’s ways, were about seeds, planting, growing and harvesting. Mustard seeds growing into large plants, seeds growing or not in various types of soil, and the mystery of seeds growing bit by bit are all in Mark chapter 4. One of my favourite hymns from childhood is “This is My Father’s World”, that has the line ‘All nature sings…the music of the spheres.’ And while I love the music of nature, I do NOT appreciate the buzz of the midge. I’m sure they have a place in the balance of life, but I fail to understand it, yet.
I enjoy conversations with keen gardeners about the delicate balance of nutrients and water that help grow giant onions or bounteous tomatoes or the sweetest ever strawberries. Humans have taken such an interest and endeavour in being fruitful and providing an abundance in what we produce. We are not just consumers at our heart but are co-creators within our environment.
Yet, we cannot control everything. We cannot make the rains come in the exact amount we want. We cannot climate control the heat of summer or the humidity or the wind. There are times and places (indoors) where we seek to climate control, nutrient control, and sunlight control the growing. Most of our food is still grown by ways and means of a delicate balance of what we can control and what we cannot. While we understand so much nowadays, there is just as much we do not know. Creation causes me to pause and wonder at how everything is so intricately woven and balanced together.
God bless the farmers and producers who work tirelessly and faithfully all around the world to provide nourishment and tasty delights amid the unpredictability of nature.
As we move through the days of summer and the year cycles on, I am ever grateful for the labours of others for my benefit. I am thankful for the fragile flourishing that provides for our life. I am mindful of the dangers of greed, injustice, and careless pollution. May we in awe and wonder be good stewards of what is ours to do and share in this precious world where we live. May we all flourish where we are planted or transplanted. – Ellen
Summer Worship in Kippen Kirk is at 11 am most weeks in July and August. Joint services with Norrieston Church are on last Sunday in July at 10 am in Kippen Kirk and last Sunday of August at 10 am in Norrieston Church in Thornhill.
Messy Church Summer BBQ at Gartmore Village Hall on Sunday 19th August from 3pm to 5 pm. All welcome.