Life and Growth

For as the rain and snow fall from the heavens* and return not again, but water the earth,

Bringing forth life and giving growth,* seed for sowing and bread for eating,

So is my word that goes forth from my mouth;* it will not return to me empty;

But it will accomplish that for which I have purposed,* and prosper in that for which I sent it.

Canticle 10: The Second Song of Isaiah (Is.55:6-11), BCP, pp. 86-87

The chives are emerging – green shoots finding their way through last year’s leafy mulch. Onions have been sending up shoots for weeks now, even though I haven’t planted anything this year. Hollyhocks, daffodils, and crocuses are up, too: the every day miracle of perennial and reseeded growth. In another few weeks, it will be tomato, potato, and pumpkin plants – bounty and lifeĀ  begun from the composted remnants of last year’s crops. All this life, and I haven’t begun to plan or plant this year’s garden yet.

Nature doesn’t seem to waste much; she calls life from the left over, the discarded, and the sowing done decades ago. It is a joy to behold, and a privilege to have a hand in any of it. My investment of time, energy, and a negligible amount of money continue to pay handsomely in beauty and food.

Bringing forth life and giving growth – the Spirit doesn’t seem to waste much, either. Surely She can bring forth life and give growth from even my leftover, discarded, and half-hearted offerings.

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Johnna

I am a Christian educator and writer.I have worked in churches, denominational offices, and seminaries. I have a PhD in Theology from Princeton Theological Seminary, with a focus on Practical Theology and educating in faith. In 2010, my book, "How the Other Half Lives: the challenges facing clergy spouses and partners," was published by Pilgrim Press. I believe that words can build doorways that lead to encounters with God through the Spirit.

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