“Advent is the season of the seed: the seed, Christ said, is the word of God sown in the human heart.” ~ Caryll Houselander, The Reed Of God
I love the farming images that Jesus used in the Gospels. They are so vivid and concrete. They are easy to comprehend. I find, for myself, that they are totally understandable and yet, at the same time, I fail so miserably in their application. You see, I can kill almost anything. I do not have the green thumb that my father had. He could bring any plant back to life and his plants always produced. No, I don’t have my dad’s green thumb. Instead, I have my mom’s black thumb. We both were able to kill almost any plant.
I just hope that this is no reflection on the ability to nurture and maintain the seed planted in our souls. We are all responsible to make sure that the soil is tilled, fertilized, weeded, and watered. The seed, the Word of God, has been sown in each and every one of us. That seed is God’s gift to us. That seed is also our responsibility. If we cultivate it well and have it produce much fruit, that will be our gift to God.
I have overwatered plants. I have not given other plants enough water. I have overfertilized plants. I have not given other plants enough or the correct kind of fertilizer. I still need to learn how to care for plants better. What about the seed sown within? What does it require in order to grow and produce?
Prayer is an important component. We have been given the faith to nurture and grow. Prayer helps us to communicate with God and to have a healthy, strong relationship with Him. If we have developed a good relationship with God, we can weather any storm.
Good works is another component. When we do good works for others we are affirming and strengthening our relationship with one another. We are embracing the fact that we are brothers and sisters in the Lord. This pleases God immensely.
Worship is another component. Prayer is something that is generally done individually. Worship, on the other hand, is communal prayer. When we pray together, we give God the praise that is His due and we also strengthen our own faith. It is good to acknowledge that the faith we embrace is held by others as well. There really is strength in numbers.
Advent has been a time to nurture the seed within. We will have much opportunity to pray and worship together this weekend as we celebrate Christmas. Use these final days to prepare. It’s never too late.
FAITH ACTION: Pray, good works, worship. Do whatever it takes to make sure that the soil of your soul is providing all the nutrition that the Word of God sown within you requires.