On our knees, together, mallet in hand, we assembled the raised bed for our garden. On our knees, we filled the frame with rich, dark soil, and spread it evenly between the sections, making our plans as we worked. “Here is where the snow peas will go, with a trellis at this end. The snap beans will be here; pole beans, I think. Our space is limited. The yellow squash and the zucchini will do best at this end, so the vines can hang over the end. Do you think the deer will venture this close to the house?”
We chattered on, enjoying the warmth of the sun, the feel of cool, damp earth between our fingers, the musty smell of ripe dirt, and the pleasure of each other’s company. Down on our knees was a good place to be, because what we were doing was worship. Preparing the beds, tilling the soil, and planting the seed is an act of faith, an exercise in hope, an ancient song to the Creator. Because, when our part is done, we sit back on our heels, sweaty and tired, with nothing more to do but wait – water, and wait – wait for the mystery of God to reveal itself once again…the mystery that from death comes life.
Deep in the dark earth, within the DNA of each, tiny seed, a secret clock is hidden. No one knows what makes the clock start ticking. No one knows what makes the seed wake up from its long sleep, stretch its tiny arms, throw off the covers and burst forth from the ground, poking its tiny head above the earth to turn its face toward the sun. Only God knows how it happens. We can only trust that it will.
And, when it does, oh, the joy, to see the promise fulfilled! To know we have not worked so hard for nothing! To be assured we have not hoped in vain! Every Springtime is a celebration of the mystery of God: that from death comes life! Each new seedling is an affirmation that God is! That God exists! That God is alive and well and creating, still! In the breeze, we hear God whisper, “I Am! I Am!”
We relive this same mystery every Easter. We remember Jesus’ words, “Unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains just a single grain; but if it dies, it bears much fruit.” (John 12:24) On our knees, every Good Friday, we are reminded that, like a grain of wheat, Jesus was laid in the dark tomb of death, the secret clock of life hidden within his heart. Then, on Easter, he stretched his arms, threw off the covers and burst forth from the tomb, turning his face toward the sun! We don’t know how God did it. We only trust that he did.
And, oh, the joy we have in knowing that the promise is fulfilled! The comfort we have in knowing that this same mystery – that from death comes life – will be repeated in us! The seed of the resurrection promise is planted within the heart of each of us, so, that when we die, we, too, will throw off the covers of darkness and be raised up to bask in the sunlight of the love of God, forever!
We are Easter people, planting the seeds of faith, living in hope, trusting that the mystery of life that is God will be repeated, over and over again. We celebrate each time our labor bears fruit; each time God lifts a new life from the shell of death, and we wait, until, one day, the cycle is ended, and death will be no more.
So, plant your seeds! Wait in hope! Enjoy the fruits of your labor in the Lord, and live in the promise of Easter!
Thanks be to God! Alleluia! Pastor Barb <><