40 WAYS IN 40 DAYS LENT 2015
#14 Learn from the Land
… ‘The kingdom of God is as if someone would scatter seed on the ground, and would sleep and rise night and day, and the seed would sprout and grow, he does not know how. The earth produces of itself, first the stalk, then the head, then the full grain in the head. But when the grain is ripe, at once he goes in with his sickle, because the harvest has come’…
With autumn upon us and my tomato crop coming to an end I must say that its been a pretty good harvest this year. I have never really had a vegie patch before but this year we decided to take a punt and throw a couple of seedlings here and there to see what would spring up. To our delight the tomatoes went crazy. From four little seedlings sprung hug bushes and given us about 5 or 6 dozen tomatoes, shame thought I can’t stand the taste!
But the coriander in our garden didn’t do so well, it grew a little and then the hot summer sun, burnt it up, reducing it to not much more than a brown twig sticking out of the soil. Mark today encourages us to look at the land as an opportunity to learn and experience the kingdom of God. There is a lot of talk about seed and soil, the sower and Satan, but subtly the light is mentioned.
Along our back fence we get the hot afternoon sun, perhaps I shouldn’t have planted my coriander there, but the other plant, chilli, seemed to love it, the right balance of sun. In all these metaphors and teaching of the seed I wonder about the place of the light. It’s the first thing I look at when I go to Bunning’s and read the plant label, how much sun can it handle? I wonder how much sun can we handle? Is it possible that God’s light can be too much?
Our sacred land has much to teach us if we are truly going to understand and experience the kingdom of God. For Mark’s farming community the spontaneity of the land is likened t the spirit of God, unexplainable but joyous mystery, apparently springing up in the darkness of night to be enjoyed in the light.
Perhaps for me this is the point when I ask about the light being to much. There is a reason why the sun goes down at the end of the day, to encourage the land to rest and replenish. This a helpful metaphor for our spiritual lives as we need to rejuvenate so that overnight a new energy can grow.
For the mustard seed to grow is to offer it both light and darkness, a balance of both. Paul Toms recently preached at Moreland about having a weedy faith and this is where Mark takes me today. Recognising that the mustard bush is a weed that grows amongst the grain, a pest and hard to get rid of. I hope to be a person of weedy faith, growing in darkness towards the light, forever growing back and like my tomatoes being abundant for all to enjoy!
– Luke Bowen, Moreland Baptist