LENTEN DEVOTIONAL ON MARK 4:1-20 - VALERIE HALL - SAINT AUGUSTINE OF CANTERBURY EPISCOPAL CHURCH, OKLAHOMA CITY, OKLAHOMA
Other seeds fell into the good soil, and as they grew up and increased, they yielded a crop and produced thirty, sixty, and a hundred times as much. Mark 4:8
My youngest son and I read the book, Bear and Bunny Grow Tomatoes, by Bruce Koscielniak, many times. In the story, Bunny gardens by tossing his seeds onto the ground. He has high expectations for a great crop. Bear is a meticulous gardener and prepares his soil, removing rocks, pulling weeds, carefully watering, and staking his plants, and chasing away anything that might try to get into his crop.
We would laugh because we thought gardening to be easy, but often like Bunny our weeds seemed to grow better than what we had planted. In the end, Bear offers some of his extra tomatoes to his fellow gardener, Bunny. We always giggled when Bunny responded, “ Thank you, I do have a tomato garden. I just can’t find it.”
I used to struggle with this parable, but as I have become a better gardener it seems to make more sense. Just like gardens, relationships must be tended. Those who truly spend time getting to know Jesus, harvest the fruits of that relationship. They are able to share joy and love with others, because they have extra to spare.
Lord, with your help I want to cultivate a deep relationship, so that the fruits of knowing you can be a blessing to others.
Valerie Hall - Valerie began attending Saint Augustine of Canterbury Episcopal Church, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma in 2016 and married former Vestry member Mike Hall in 2017. Together they have four children, and have rescued and adopted numerous furry children.
Various Clergy and members of St. Augustine contribute to authoring the blog on a variety of topics.