Weekly Encouragement: Spiritual Gardening

“That we may be mutually encouraged by each other’s faith.”
Romans 1:12

Dear Sisters and Brothers in Christ,

Lynn Ellen and I are not great gardeners, nor do we have much bare ground at our home upon which to garden. We do grow lots of basil in pots and yearly make enough pesto alla genovese to freeze and, we hope, last us until the next crop is ready for harvesting.

Some summers the rain is frequent enough to sustain the plants nicely. Our biggest challenge lately, in these hot dry days, has been to keep our basil sufficiently watered. Sometimes it needs watering twice a day just to keep the leaves from shriveling up.

I often think of our life of faith in terms of growing seasons. Some seasons are prolific. Others are down time. And like basil or other garden plants, sometimes our life of faith’s growing seasons are sustained nicely by the regular “weather” of church life and community involvement: worship, fellowship, learning, and service. Other times we may need to seek out additional spiritual “watering.”

Do you have a source for that in your life of faith? Trusted friends with whom to share your joys and sorrows? A routine of prayer or meditation? A plan for regular reading of scripture or of devotional or instructive literature? Hands-on engagement in a ministry? Music or other arts? God’s Spirit works in so many ways, if we are willing and open to receiving the Spirit’s gifts.

The prophet Isaiah shares this kind of weather thinking: “For as the rain and the snow come down from heaven, and do not return there until they have watered the earth, making it bring forth and sprout, giving seed to the sower and bread to the eater, so shall my word be that goes out from my mouth; it shall not return to me empty, but it shall accomplish that which I purpose, and succeed in the thing for which I sent it.” (55:10-11)

I’m glad to know God is attentive to all of our needs on this, God’s garden, earth. I’m challenged to be reminded that God is “watering” us for serving God’s purposes. I pray that we all are receiving enough to keep our lives of faith flourishing.

God’s Peace,

The Rev. Bill Queen
Interim Rector