Welcome to WPC! Click here to sign the Friendship Register

Great Green Growing Days

May 17, 2024

On my faith journey, I never knew about the Christian liturgical year until began to teach Godly Play (a visual story telling method for children) 20 years ago. I learned about the significance and rhythm of our liturgical seasons and how these seasons ground us in our faith. This Sunday is Pentecost which marks the birthday of the Church, and we mark this Sunday with the color red. This is the only day we wear red in the liturgical year which means Pentecost is a pretty big deal. After this Sunday, we enter ordinary time, but I prefer Godly Play’s term “the great green growing days.” Our liturgical color after Pentecost is green to symbolize growth. We experience the “great green growing days” all the way until Advent. 28 WEEKS! That is a lot of time to grow!

I Love Gardens...Hummingbird in the garden

This year, spring captured my spiritual attention leading me into daily wonder as the brown beds around my house began to show life. As I pull out of the garage to come to church, I often stop the car and jump out to see what else is poking through what appears empty soil. Part of my amazement is because I am not a very proficient gardener. My gardening skills can be the source of jokes in my family. Some years I am successful in creating gardens that attract butterflies, bees, and hummingbirds and I am in awe of how these creatures, flitting around quite comfortably with one another, find the flowers. Other years, I am traveling or busy with who knows what, and the weeds take over and lack of water stunts the plants. The gardens become a mess.   

Encouraged by small successes

Budding plantsI decided I needed to have small successes rather trying to plant EVERYTHING which I couldn’t maintain. Last year, I grew tomatoes successfully until the horn worms found them. It only takes one morning of not checking for horn worms to come home to a bare tomato plant.  I also planted hydrangeas transplanted from my mom’s house. As they went dormant over the winter, I wondered if they would live. From bare branches, small buds are turning into leaves! I also planted blueberry bushes late in the season. They did not do well, and I was sure I had killed them. NO! They are budding like crazy this year. There is much we can learn from the great green growing days.

Illinois farm with tree swing and Vermillion River in backgroundMy grandma and my grandpa ran a 300-acre farm in the middle of Illinois with chickens, pigs, sheep, cattle, and crops. My grandma had the most incredible vegetable garden that they depended on for food throughout the year. Around the small farmhouse which sat on the top of a knoll with expansive views of fields, barns, and the Vermillion River, were beds of beautiful flowers, shrubs, a tree swing, and a gate which led into this magical world. Through many years of care, my grandma made her yard a place of comfort and wonder. I would like to become a gardener like Grandma Henry – a hardworking farm woman who shared so much love through her great green growing days.

Our Faith is Like Gardening

I am learning from my gardening failures and successes. Gardening takes time, intention, and daily nurture pulling weeds, deadheading flowers, fertilizing, and checking for bugs (those darn horn worms). Our faith is like gardening. It too takes time, intention, and daily nurturing. If we get distracted, weeds pop around our faith. If we don’t water our faith, it dries up. Our faith needs proper fertilizing so we can take up necessary nutrients and we need to guard our faith from pesty bugs which could leave us bare and vulnerable. Our faith, given through grace, does not grow without care.

The most extraordinary part of our faith is it cannot die. Faith may go dormant, appearing dead to the world, but it is not dead. Through Jesus’ life, death, and resurrection, faith can always awaken to new life. How? Love. Love shared through relationships providing food, building homes, tutoring a child, providing meals, reaching out to WM students, going to Sunday school classes, Presbyterian Women Circles, Squares…just to name a few.  When my brother tragically died, your love through words, prayers, cards, and hugs sheltered me from the storm of grief. The roots of my faith deepened, and I pray I may nurture others faith in the way you did mine.

The great green growing days are far from ordinary. May we nurture our faith and the faith of others so that all people can step through the gate into a garden of wonder and experience life abundant and eternal with Jesus Christ.

–Pastor Pam

Previous Page

More from Kirk Connections