What are we planting? (March 2017)

This is the time of year when garden catalogs have been arriving in our mailboxes for weeks. The worst of the winter is past. A few early flowers are poking green shoots above the ground.

When I visit with people, they tell me what seeds they’ve ordered, what they’re going to plant this year. I was deeply reassured when I visited one of our oldest members a week or two ago. He told me that he’s already ordered his onion sets – that means he’s planning to be around for at least another season!

One of our cool new projects last summer was when Patsy Hill and Javier Gonzalez got together to build a bunch of raised bed gardens for the children in the sheltered courtyard outside the Sunday School. We got off to a late start planting, but we had dozens of peppers and tomatoes to harvest all the way until frost came last fall.

We’re still adding to the Sunday School garden – Gene Shipwash is donating a miniature greenhouse so that the kids can start some seedlings even before the weather gets warmer.

Last year we had to take down a huge oak tree beside the meetinghouse. I counted the rings, and it had been here for at least 150 years. It was hardly down and cut up before someone asked me when we’re going to plant a new tree to take its place.

Since then, people in the meeting have pointed out trees which were planted in memory of beloved family members and friends, or bushes which have been pruned and tended and shaped for a generation or more.

Anyone who grows things knows that it takes patience. Things take a while to grow, and it takes a lot of work and different kinds of skills to make our gardening dreams happen.

And growth is often a mystery. We wait for the rain. We can’t control how hot or cold it gets. We plant seeds, but we can’t always predict the harvest.

Jesus talked a lot about seeds. He talked about vineyards, and farmers, and mustard seeds, good fruit and bad fruit. In one of his most famous parables, he said that God was a gardener. Jesus said that different kinds of people are like rocky soil, poor soil, or rich soil.

All this leads me to ask, “What are we planting now at Springfield Friends Meeting? What seeds are we ordering? What gardens are we dreaming about? What ministries are we preparing for? What kind of soil are we?”

I’d like to hear more of your dreams about things you’d like to plant here in our meeting. I want to hear you talk about what kind of seeds you’re looking for. I’d like to see us staking out new areas for ministry, digging up the ground and preparing it. I want to hear people praying for rain, for growth, and for a rich harvest.

Jesus said that when we plant good seed in good soil, that it comes back twenty, thirty or a hundred times over. I think it’s time we start planting again! What are we planting this year?

– Josh Brown

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