||Ever since I can remember, my father, who died in 2010, planted a garden. He prepared the soil and sowed the seed. Then came the weeding and watering and before long, -- beans and beets, carrots and tomatoes! Dad didn't use poisonous pesticides in his garden because he cared about the long term results of his land use, he wanted to protect the soil and the underground water supply. His mission after he retired was "living simply". Sometimes it seems to me as if the world has gone crazy with exploitation of natural resources. And we seem insatiable in our wanting. Jesus talked about gardening in an analogy comparing gardening to "sowing God's Word in our hearts". In fact Jesus said the Word was like "good seed" sown in the earth. What you "sow" is what your harvest will be. We are called to love other people in God's way and to give our lives away, helping when we can and sharing God's love and truth. Sharing inklings of God in your everyday conversation plants seeds of hope, Share it on Facebook and in your texting. An occasional card or note that you can hold in your hand shows such love. Send a postcard to a kid who is struggling. Support children in poverty. Celebrate the good in life. My cousin and her husband celebrated 50 years of marriage in their church with a renewal of vows. Her 50 years of marriage have been a witness to what married life can be. May God give increased spiritual vigor and commitment to people young and old. Let us be "repairers of the breach" as it says in Isaiah 58|
I love the Wycliffe Bible translators organization because their mission is to meet the deepest needs of people by translating the Bible into their unwritten languages . They don't force their culture on anyone but they translate and provide a book. People who have the Bible in their "heart language" can apply it to their life circumstances with more understanding. They are better prepared to negotiate with the modern world. Their churches are indigenous and they better avoid manipulation from people who may have selfish interests at heart and most importantly, they can participate in God's kingdom and life with God now and forever.
But what about our own culture in our post modern era? For one thing we are traveling too fast and not making time for God. Our culture is being secularized at a rate we wouldn't have imagined just a few years ago. We have often been so carried away by values of materialism and success that we live for over achievement rather than trusting and taking time to be thankful for our blessings. Would we be more blessed if we learned to make do with "enough"and were more faithful to our families? What if we supported third world children or missions or a search for alternative energy with our abundance. What if our children who live in this fast paced society and hear the Christian faith denigrated in the world would see God at work in our lives? What if we were really "seeking first the kingdom of God and his righteousness and trusting that all things would be added to us as well"? We might have the time to share in honest meaningful relevant ways so that our families and neighbors would know that though we struggle too, we believe God can be trusted. Let's live so that the children see God's "Light" shine in us. That means resisting the false "god's" of power, sensuality and selfishness and living our lives in God's peace and love. We won't do it perfectly but we can humbly go in the right direction, confess our sins when we fail and find God there.