22 By contrast, the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against such things.
– Galatians 5:22-23, NRSV
To be honest, I’m not sure I expected the seeds to amount to much of anything. I’m not much of a gardener. Perhaps I lack the patience? Regardless of the reason, I’ve never had much success with plants. On the contrary — around me, plants seem to give up the will to live. I’m the Grim Reaper of the garden.
So I didn’t expect the seeds to amount to much of anything… but still, they made for a great illustration for the children’s sermon on a Sunday morning some five months ago.
We care for our faith like we care for this seed. We tend to it regularly, just like we tend to our faith regularly. We make a habit of “watering” our faith with the water of prayer. Take home some seeds and soil in a little plastic cup, kiddos of Wesley! Watch your marigold seed — and your faith — grow!
Would their little seeds sprout into seedlings and flowers? Hard to say… though statistically, their seeds had a better chance than mine.
Still, my own kiddos brought home their plastic cups of marigold seeds. We placed them on the windowsill. We watered them regularly. Lo and behold, they began to sprout… new life, sprouting right there on the windowsill.
Then they outgrew their little plastic cups. We transferred them to a bigger flowerpot and put them back on the windowsill, their green leaves a contrast to the bare tree branches outside.
Fast-forward to this morning. The children’s-message-marigolds are abundant. They’re still going strong. They’re a riot of vibrant orange color, right there on my deck.
Five months and four days later, those children’s-message-marigolds are teaching the pastor who originally planted them a few lessons, too. Lessons about patience. Lessons about faith. Lessons about new life triumphing over death.
Lord, give me the faith to remember that with you, life triumphs over death… and give me the patience to see that abundant triumph through.
As you wait with patience and faith, church, may you remember:
Our God is bigger than coronavirus.
Our vision is bigger than coronavirus, too.
We are people blessing people.
We are Wesley Church.
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