For the first time in a few weeks we can be assured that this coming Sunday will not be a snow day. As we watch our unique west coast version of winter melt away many of us can feel a new season of growth just around the corner. The gardeners among us can hardly wait to get our hands into rich soil and plant the first seeds of spring.
In Paul’s first letter to the Corinthians, he uses the image of preparing a crop to describe the work of the Christian community (1 Corinthians 3: 1 – 9). There are particular roles involved. One plants and another waters. He doesn’t mention that yet another weeds but we can assume that such is intended in the economy of God. In using this image Paul builds on a theme which is constant in this letter (see 1 Corinthians 12). As members of a community we carry different gifts. These individual gifts can enter into competition with each other or, by the grace of God, they become complementary.
This Sunday we are going to take this image from the letter and be invited to prepare our lives and the life of our new community of Dunbar Ryerson United Church for a new spring of planting, watering and weeding.
One final word: I do need to confess that I am not particularly fond of gardening. With that in mind I want to extend a special invitation to those of us who let others do the work of tilling the good earth to join with us this coming Sunday. It is often at the point of resistance that we are surprised by the grace of God and discover that even non-gardeners may have a role in the spring time practice of planting seeds of hope.