Lenten Garden Reflection

Lenten Garden Reflection

Dear Friends,

On Saturday, March 10, my grandson Charlie and I hacked and pulled the winter’s weed growth from our 5’X16’ raised bed garden. That day we planted cheery orange marigolds around the perimeter to keep some pests at bay. A couple of days later I planted four tomato plants and two squash plants, but have yet to decide on which other seeds to plant this year.

In a few days we will find those right seeds. We will plant, water, begin weeding, staking, and all the other mundane but wonderful little chores that make a plot of land a garden and a witness to the wonder of God’s generativity.

Our spiritual lives are like plots of land. With attention and perseverance, they can flourish into a garden. Do you remember the familiar parable Jesus told in Matthew 13 about the kingdom of God being like seed?

And as he sowed, some seeds fell on the path, and the birds came and ate them up. Other seeds fell on rocky ground, where they did not have much soil, and they sprang up quickly, since they had no depth of soil. But when the sun rose, they were scorched; and since they had no root, they withered away. Other seeds fell among thorns, and the thorns grew up and choked them. Other seeds fell on good soil and brought forth grain, some a hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty.”

For many of us, Lent has been just such a time of preparing the soil. Now is the time for the seed. What will it be? It’s not enough to just let any seed take root in our garden. The right seed is essential. We need to be very intentional that the seeds we plant are truly godly. Careful discernment is called for, because what we plant, we will reap.

If the glory of this spring finds you ready to move forward in your prayer discipline, let me recommend you plant Fr. M. Basil Pennington’s Centering Prayer training. Our Lenten study book has been Soul Feast: An Invitation to the Christian Spiritual Life by Marjorie J Thompson. She invites us to explore an ancient method of spiritual self-examination and confession; a deeply spiritual new hospitality; and finally, the opportunity to develop our own personal spiritual practice goals.

Perhaps your chosen path is offering yourself in service to the congregation in any of several leadership capacities. Our Nominating Council would love to hear from you! And, of course, our Outreach Council always has plenty of opportunities for us to share our time and capabilities in community service. If this is of interest to you, email admin@ucc-austin.org and we’ll get you connected to the right people.

This is a time, a precious opportunity, for planting seeds. May God bless you in readying your garden.

Yours in Christ,

Pastor Chuck