It is Time for Planting those Seeds!
Matthew 13:3-8: "And he spake many things unto them in parables, saying, Behold, a sower went forth to sow; And when he sowed, some seeds fell by the way side, and the fowls came and devoured them up; Some fell upon stony places, where they had not much earth: and forthwith they sprung up, because they had no deepness of earth: And when the sun was up, they were scorched; and because they had no root, they withered away. And some fell among thorns; and the thorns sprung up, and choked them: But others fell into good ground, and brought forth fruit, some an hundredfold, some sixtyfold, and some thirty-fold."
For those of us who like to garden, it is the time of year when we gather our seeds to plant our favorite crops and flowers. It is that time when we contemplate where, when and with whom we will be gardening. The sun is shining, the trees are budding, and the apple trees are showing their beautiful dress.
Gardens of Divine Hope Church formatted its main mission based on "community gardening." In 2013, calling upon its initial structure, we found we didn't have a place to worship so we migrated to our Garden. We used the Garden to meet once a week for worship, prayer and celebration of our Lord.
Our first garden was behind Metro Denver Food Bank before they built their new building. We did get some questions, concerns, and disbelief surrounding this concept. But as we moved forward and were progressing through the years, we have built and facilitated over 12-14 gardens a year through partnering with Denver Public Schools, non-profits and other churches. With the setback of the Coronavirus, we were not able to plant gardens in 2020 but have four gardens on the map for 2021. We now meet in a "church building" for worship, but we also continue to worship in the Gardens as well.
The main mission of assisting and developing "community gardens" through our church is to provide encouragement, love and support through our Lord by introducing his presence within the gardening environment. In providing this service, we are involved in the initial planting, watering, and harvesting of the gardens with the ultimate end result of the produce going to the hungry.
The hungry are families within the school, the surrounding community and churches. Our focus is two-fold: one, to supply food for the hungry, and two, to spread the Gospel while we are planting. Many times, just being present in the garden with others in the community is enough, without mention of religious doctrine or beliefs.
And as I look at the Congregation of Gardens of Divine Hope, I am lifted by its continual belief in the Lord and its commitment to keeping these gardens going year after year. As the parable in Matthew talks about the different seeds, "those that fell by the way side, and the fowls came and devoured them up, those that fell upon stony places where there was not much earth, those that fell among thorns, and the thorns sprung up, and finally those that fell on good ground which brought forth good fruit and in abundance".
When sowing our seeds, let those seeds be the seeds of Christ and fall on good ground where the seeds may grow fruitfully. Let the Holy Spirit take those good seeds and let the wind blow them onto good ground where we can flourish with the hope, love, and support of Jesus Christ. Amen.
Dear Lord, As we venture into our Season of growing, nurturing and planting the seeds of Christ, let those seeds prosper into new life within our churches, communities and surroundings. A new life filled with the joy and hope only you can bring, Dear Lord, and let the Holy Spirit breeze those seeds and release them in the Gardens for continual growth from this day forward. Amen.
Reverend Karen W. Schneider
Gardens of Divine Hope Church