Photo by Jed Owen on Unsplash

As spring breathes new life into the world, we witness the meticulous preparation of gardens. Our Karen neighbors are eagerly assembling their supplies and bringing their plots out of their winter slumbers. Seeds are sown, soil is cultivated, and roots begin to take hold. In these moments of anticipation, we can see the parallels between the nurturing of a garden and the formation of the early Christian church.

Just as a gardener carefully tends to each plant, the apostle Paul dedicated himself to nurturing the fledgling church in places like Corinth. He planted the seeds of faith, watering them with his teachings and guidance. The Corinthians, like tender shoots, eagerly absorbed the nourishment of Paul’s wisdom and the gospel message.

Yet, like a garden beset by weeds, the Corinthian church faced challenges. Divisions, moral disagreement, and theological misunderstandings threatened to choke their spiritual growth. But just as a gardener diligently removes weeds, Paul addressed these issues with love (and a fair amount of correction), cultivating unity and spiritual growth among the believers.

Through Paul’s efforts and the grace of God, the Corinthian church flourished. Like a garden in full bloom, they became a testament to the transformative power of faith. Their unity, love, and dedication to Christ served as a beacon of hope to surrounding communities.

This spring, we’re preparing a new garden plot for our church campus. This one for the benefit of our neighbors living in the Sacred Settlement. Nutrient-rich dirt has been moved into place and soon a fence will be raised to protect the growing plants to come. With comparable effort, we’ll continue growing the community of support we’re using to surround the chronically homeless with God’s love.

As we tend to our gardens this spring, let’s reflect on the parallels with the early Christian church. May we too cultivate our faith with care, removing the weeds of doubt and division, and allow the love of Jesus to blossom in our hearts and in our backyards.

May God’s peace find you today. -Pastor Peter

Let us pray… God of the garden, as we prepare the soil and sow seeds this spring, may we nurture faith like gardens. Help us remove weeds that distract, cultivating unity and love. Amen.