This last Saturday I held another spirituality of gardening seminar in Lynden Washington. There were only 10 participants but 6 churches were represented and l am hopeful that this will encourage the planting of several new community gardens in the area.
I was greatly encouraged by what has happened at the Five Loaves Farm since my last visit. A large Celtic cross now lies at the centre of the garden
And a sitting area that invites people to gather for contemplation and conversation has been added.
We talked a lot about the need to build up the soil – the number one requirement of organic gardening. It was a real encouragement for all of us to think about how we build up the environment in which new Christians are planted.
We also talked about that fascinating phrase in John 20:15 – “she thought he was the gardener” Why did it matter that Mary Magdalene thought that Jesus was the gardener? One of the participants reminded us that the theme of the Gospel of John is New Creation.
John begins with the words “In the beginning”. This immediately harkens us to the book of Genesis which opens with the same words. John then lays out a series of events in the life of Christ that mirror the Seven Days of Creation. Read more
In the beginning God planted a garden – the Garden of Eden (Gen 3:8). In the beginning of the new creation brought into being by the resurrection of Christ God is once more seen as a gardener. The hope and promise of these words which we so often skim over is incredible. As we read in 2 Corinthians 5:17
“Therefore if anyone is in Christ he is a new creation, the old has passed away, behold, the new has come.”
I particularly enjoyed the opportunity we had to get out into the garden to plant – another symbol of the new creation. Dave Timmer had expected us to plant one or two rows of beans – we planted eight. It is amazing what we can accomplish when we work as a community. Now if I could only get the participants from last year’s garden seminar here at the Mustard Seed House back to put apple maggot bags on my apples like they did last year, I would be happy.
This weekend I will be at Rosewood Manor Saturday morning for another seminar – if anyone is interested please contact Ryan Marsh at Church of the Beloved “Ryan Marsh” <firstname.lastname@example.org>, We are also working on other possible events in Mt Vernon (July), Portland and Hood River Oregon (dates to be announced) and Connecticut (May 2011). So if you are interested in other possibilities please let me know.