The Pastor's Peace - June, 2010
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Spring is in full swing and summer is on the way. At my house the garden is in full bloom. We have a giant clematis on our front gate. The tulips have come and gone. The irises are still going strong, and the peonies are popping open all over the place. We have tomato plants in the ground, thanks to Deal's landscaping. The potatoes and onions we planted are starting to grow, and the mint has pretty much taken over the bed we planted it in. Each plant has its own time to shine, its own way of growing, and its own preferred spot in the sun.

There are many images we have for God; some see God as father, some as mother, some as best friend, some as a great ruler. No image is wrong and we all relate to God in different ways. Sometimes I like to think of God as the gardener, and we, of course, are God's garden. Or maybe Christ is the gardener and God is the sun, the water, the soil, and everything else needed to create and sustain life. Each of us has his spot in the garden, each of us is individual and yet together we make up the beauty that is the garden of God.

What I like most about this analogy is that it recognizes that we are all a little bit
different, and yet God still cares for us, and we can still grow in God's presence. Some of us like the shade and some of us like the sun. Some of us need a lot of nourishment and others seem to need very little. Some of us bloom early and some of us late. Some of us stand tall with beautiful flowers, and others have more going on below the surface, like those potatoes in our garden. No matter what we are, we all have a place and a purpose and a value to God.

I also like the idea of a garden because it reminds us that we all work together. In our garden we have marigolds next to our tomatoes because they keep the aphids away. Worms in the garden might be slimy, but they make the soil rich. Bees help themselves and help pollinate the plants at the same time. When we look at others in our church and our world, we should keep in mind that God did not make us all the same, and God did that on purpose. Our diversity makes us more beautiful as a collection, and our different talents and ideas all add to the strength and life of the garden. Don't be afraid to be who God made you. Grow into who you are and remember that God is there to give you all you need along the way.

Pastor Brian