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Gardening 101

Sorry I haven't been posting anything the last few day.  It has been really crazy around here.  I will try and explain tomorrow.  Here is last Sunday's sermon.  Christ is describing the kingdom of heaven with the example of a mustard seed. 

Thanks for your patience,
Fr. Fred

Gardening 101

This seems like a very straightforward parable of sowing good seed and bad seed. It is a simple way of looking at sin. Weeds grow among the good plants and both are harvested. The weeds are destroyed and the good plants are kept.

Rather than look out amongst all of you and try and figure out which of you is a weed, I would like to take a different tack. In Iowa no one has to plant weeds in with the crops. They find their way all on their own. The thing about plants is that they have there own defense systems.

I went through the master gardening program through Wyoming extension and I learned a lot about weeds. Weeds as well as the plants we like have root systems that actually send out a poison to surrounding plants. This is one of many ways they dominate and kill off the plants they are competing with. They might grow a real thick system that chokes out other plants. They might have real big leaves that do not allow other plants to get enough light.

Weeds are tricky just like the evil one. I used to think there wasn't a devil. Now I'm not so sure.

I spend a good bit of the winter fantasizing about what a wonderful garden I will have in the spring. I can just see all of the ripe juicy tomatoes, The perfect zucchini, the red and green peppers and the juicy grapes that will make the most wonderful jelly. I just know it will be the best garden ever, way better than last years. 

Last year the weeds got ahead of me. I didn't get out there to pull them and because of the weeds and my neglect it was not a bountiful year. There is an old saying, “as you sow, so shall you reap” Maybe it should be, “as you sow and tend, so shall you reap”

Gardens need to be tended. They need to be planted at the right time, fertilized, weeded, thinned, protected from predators and finally harvested.

Our souls are kind of like a garden. They need to be watered and fertilized. They need to be spiritually nourished. How do you do that? You go to church services. You pray and meditate. You study spiritual writings, you practice your religion.

We also need to weed this spiritual garden. The thing I have noticed about weeds is that they are a lot easier to pull when they are little. I doubt that there is anyone here who doesn't have a few weeds in their spiritual garden that need pulling. I know I do. Think about that for a moment. Imagine some old habit or some way of treating others or some desire that is just so tempting. These are your weeds. Then think about how destructive those weeds can be. Try and think of one or two really noxious weeds that are getting between you and God. Then pray to God to help you yank that weed out of your garden before it has a chance to spread its poison and kill off all the good things you have planted.

I researched gardening on the internet for this sermon and I found a story.

A farmer purchased an old, run-down, abandoned farm with plans to turn it into a thriving enterprise. The fields were grown over with weeds, the farmhouse was falling apart, and the fences were broken down.  During his first day of work, the town preacher stops by to bless the man's work, saying, "May you and God work together to make this the farm of your dreams!"   A few months later, the preacher stops by again to call on the farmer.  Lo and behold, it's a completely different place.  The farm house is completely rebuilt and in excellent condition, there are plenty of cattle and other livestock happily munching on feed in well-fenced pens, and the fields are filled with crops planted in neat rows.  "Amazing!" the preacher says. "Look what God and you have accomplished together!"  "Yes, reverend," says the farmer, "but remember what the farm was like when God was working it alone!"

Too many of us think that the things they accomplish are done without God's help.

I guess the message here is that God is not going to do it all for you but He has given you plenty of good seed and God expects you to do your share.


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