Saturday, July 23, 2011

God's love is like....Meditations on Matthew 13

God’s love is like…. a mustard seed

God’s love is like…a woman making bread with yeast
God’s love is like…a treasure hidden in the field

God’s love is like…a pearl of great price

God’s love is like…

Tim and I spent a good part of the day Friday working on the yard around the parsonage.  We pulled weeds and pruned lilacs run amok, cut away ‘volunteer’ seedlings that were well on the way to becoming shrubs, divided irises. 
As I weeded, I thought about the parable of the mustard seed.  Where I come from, mustard is considered a weed.  I don’t know of anyone who would deliberately plant mustard.  It takes over where it’s planted and it’s almost impossible to get rid of.  I know that somewhere someone must harvest mustard otherwise we would not be able to buy mustard seeds in the store.  But I wouldn’t plant it.

I thought about how hard we work to keep weeds at bay in our yards and fields.  We want the predictable, the orderly, we want to maintain things just so.  Jewish gardens and fields were like that – no mixing of types of plants, everything in its place, well-ordered. It was against the laws of the Torah to plant something like mustard in a vegetable garden.  Only a gentile, who did not know God, would plant mustard.
I weeded the herb garden and thought about how before I ever planted mint, I was warned to plant it only in a container.  It seems that mint will take over a garden, in fact will take over the whole yard.  I saw firsthand how pervasive mint can be – one small seedling quickly overran my large pot and sent out runners to the ground around the pot. 

As we cut back the lilacs, I thought of the lilac at home in the center of our front yard.  It was huge – over six feet in diameter and close to 8 feet tall.  Birds sang in that lilac and I saw a mouse or two scurry into the depths of the bush.  I played in its shade, and delighted in its fragrance.  My teachers always received a large bouquet of lilacs each spring, but you could never tell that any were picked.   Here, we pruned unmercifully to keep so that the parsonage lilac might be kept manageable.
I divided irises for the first time.  I only took about half the plants, wanting to move them to the bare spots along the side of the house.  Only 3 or 4 clumps of irises and we have more than enough plants – enough to share with neighbors, probably more than even they can use.

God’s love is like….

·         mint that creeps from its spot in the herb garden to the flower bed across the lawn and continues to flourish everywhere in the lawn no matter how hard someone tries to contain it.

·         an untended lilac bush, huge and fragrant, providing shade and shelter, delight and beauty.  

·         irises that haven’t been thinned in years and when you thin them, there’s more than enough for the whole neighborhood to replant.

Where do you see God's love?

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