July 31, 2012


Filed under: Cycle of Prayer,Lectionary,Stewardship of the Environment,Time and Talent — by Lisa Meeder Turnbull @ 1:45 pm

How will I use the gift of this new day? How will I notice the glory of creation?[i]

We have arrived at the time of year when abundance both delights and challenges me, the time when our Rogation Day prayers show forth in bounty. Strawberries have given way to raspberries (my favorite!); corn on the cob is totally worth the extra dental work; and I could honestly eat BLTs breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Somewhere in there I find room for peas and beans and watermelon… And most years I’m lucky to have peaches at their peak over my birthday.

There is, however, a moment in every August when I sound more like an Israelite whining to Moses—The garden is your hobby, not mine. … Just how many pickles are you planning to make?! …. I did remind you that a whole row of zucchini would probably be too much….

I somehow wish the garden were like manna—not too much, not too little, just the right amount. The lesson for me, as it was in the time of Moses, is to look at abundance—and my attitude toward it—a bit more generously. Do I really yearn to sit by the commercial fleshpots and eat my fill of processed food, tempted by the value of super sizing? Would I rather have factory-canned pie filling and flash-frozen fruit for the baking I so love to do? Of course not! I do want this abundance.

But more than that, I yearn to bring humility and gentleness to the tending of fragile young plants. I envy those whose patience brings them into unity of spirit with the soil. I wish I had the forbearance to live in the bonds of peace with insects who want to bite me and weather that makes me sticky and miserable.

My gifts are different. My place in the body of Christ lies in another limb. I thank God for those who are called to till and nurture, to garden and farm and tend, without whose bounty my joy—and my prayer life—would be diminished. I am thankful that together we are no longer children, tossed to and fro and blown about, that we are instead a whole body, building itself up in love.

Holy One, hear our prayers and make us faithful stewards of the fragile bounty of this earth so that we may be entrusted with the riches of heaven. Amen.[ii]

[i] Daily Prayer for All Seasons, Final Draft, January 2011,  p.83.



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