SEEDS and the New Year
One of the rituals of winter in the household in which I grew up was the arrival and preview of the annual seed catalog. As winter days and nights came with their cold, snow and ice we anticipated spring when it would be time to prepare and plant the garden. Planning was a big part of the process and spending time perusing the seed catalog was part of the planning.
What types of seeds should we try? Were there new varieties available? In addition to the old standby vegetables, might we experiment with something new this year? As winter yeilded to spring I can remember some of the experiments we tried. New seeds or plants would be introduced into our garden, cultivated and ultimately harvested. Some produced interesting results but were never repeated. (For example, we discovered growing peanuts was not an easy thing to do in Indiana.) Others became annual additions. (Khalrabi and spaghetti squash to name two.)
It's this very idea of experimentation that lies behind our new SEEDS initiative at First Baptist. This new missional and worship endeavor (presented elsewhere on the website) is being entered into with the concept of learning and experimentation at its heart. As we try some new ways to plant seeds and try new mission efforts in our community, I expect us to learn as we go. Some things we may learn from but not repeat. Others may become part of our ongoing ministry efforts at FBC.
The image of a seed is used many times in the Bible. Jesus said if we have faith the size of a mustard seed (one of the smallest seeds ever) we can accomplish great things with him for the Kingdom of God (Mt 17:20). He also said unless a seed dies and is planted in the ground it will not yeild any fruit. (John 12:24). Each of these verses speak to the risk and reward of faith through the image of the seed.
Much like my family experience of childhood, we're invited to leave the dreary winter days and imagine spring in full bloom. We're invited to attempt new things and reach out in new ways to reach others with the good news of Christ. We, like Jesus' parable of the sower (Mk 4), are invited to go and to sow on all kinds of ground in an extravagant display of God's love and grace.