May 2024

“Confessions of A Bad Gardener”

In my life, I have been described as many things, many of which I am comfortable with. Some have been troubling, though likely at least a bit true. Some are, well…you know…not true. But one thing no one has ever described me as is a green thumb. Not even in the ballpark. The closest I come to being a green thumb is the ability to shovel and spread mulch in a garden, and wheel the squeaky cart through the aisles of Bordine’s when Stephanie wants to pick out some hanging pots in the Spring. Beyond that, I am not a green thumb.
This is why I was shocked this morning to hear Jane proclaim as she was walking out the front door, “Mommy! Daddy! Look at the pretty flowers!” Her innocent joy was matched by my surprise that there were, in fact, wild flowers growing in my very nicely mulched bed. I hadn’t planted them (I know better than to try), and Stephanie hadn’t planted them, but there they were. Flourishing without our having caused them in the first place.
As I’m reflecting on these wildflowers and their persistence to grow despite my severe lack of a green thumb, I am reminded of the power and mystery of God’s grace. Grace is our way of understanding God’s love and compassion for us. God’s grace does not depend on us. God’s grace is formed by God alone, felt by God alone, and is freely shared by God, alone! God’s grace rises up to meet us even when we feel as though there is nothing we’ve done to tend the soil in our lives. God’s grace just comes. It just grows. It just…is.
One of my greatest privileges as your pastor is to be able to share in the Sacrament of Holy Communion with you. In breaking the bread and lifting the cup, we are reminded that God’s presence is present, and yet it remains a mystery. It’s a mystery, not because we can’t theologically define grace, but because, no matter how hard we might try, we can’t fully comprehend the “why” of it all. Why is God so deeply in love with us? Why is God so deeply committed to a relationship with us? Why, when we consider all we do that must simply disappoint God, does God still invite us to the table? The answers are ultimately a mystery – one that we have to be okay with. And so, I find myself giving the same deeply theological answer to the question of “why does God love us?”
My answer: I don’t know, but He does.
I don’t know how long those wild flowers were blooming, but I do know that they didn’t need my permission or my effort. They simply grew. Maybe they were there for some time, and I just never noticed them. For me to notice them, it took my 3 ¾ year old daughter to see them, accept them as a beautiful mystery, and simply experience joy through them.


“Then he called a little child over to sit among the disciples, and said, “I assure you that if you don’t turn your lives around and become like this little child, you will definitely not enter the kingdom of heaven.  Those who humble themselves like this little child will be the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.” –Matthew 18:2-4 (CEB)


Pastor Brian

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