My mother was a master gardener and in her lifetime she created the most amazing gardens. Whether it was flowers or vegetables or trees and shrubs, she knew just what to do get things to grow in their season. It started in January with the seed catalogs and then the planting of seeds under the lights to give them a good start for later planting outside. Besides the water and light that plants need, they also need fertilizer to help them grow big and strong.
We have a Master Gardener, too. God plants the seeds of faith and then nurtures us so that we can become strong in all the seasons of our lives. People aren’t that much different than plants. To grow in our faith we need a kind of “fertilizer,” too. I brought a bag of “fertilizer” to church last week and shared it during the Children’s Time. Here’s what I had in my “fertilizer” bag: First, the Bible, filled stories of God’s love and God’s people that help us know how God wants us to live. The second thing was a chalice as a symbols of God’s love shown to us in Jesus. When we share the bread and the cup we feel God close to us and we feel stronger to live as God wants. The third thing in my fertilizer bag was a photo of our church. The people in the church support and care one another and together we learn about God’s Kingdom. The final thing in my bag was a dove to remind us of God’s Spirit that is with us and in us to help guide us to make good choices.
All of these things are gifts from God to help us grow. God loves us and wants us to grow strong in our faith, and so God provides us with gifts we need to do that. Free gifts like this that we don’t have to earn, we call grace. And the one thing I have discovered in the short time I have been with all of you in Harwinton is that the GRACE OF GOD is present inabundance!