I realize that fall is not the time to be talking about planting gardens. Fall is the time for harvest -- harvesting what was planted, nourished and cared for during the course of the year in the ecosystem that is our gardens.
Paul uses a similar imagery for the people of God in I Corinthians:
What then is Apollos? What is Paul? Servants through whom you believed, as the Lord assigned to each. I planted, Apollos watered, but God gave the growth. So neither he who plants nor he who waters is anything, but only God who gives the growth. He who plants and he who waters are one, and each will receive his wages according to his labor. For we are God’s fellow workers. You are God’s field, God’s building. (1 Corinthians 3:5-9)
The overarching emphasis of these verses is that of God’s work to bring to about the harvest. But it is also important to note that God utilizes servants like Paul, Apollos and others like Priscilla, Aquila, Luke, etc… to plant and nurture the field at Corinth..
What about the field at Christ Church? Or even more broadly in Grand Rapids? I believe God is at work planting and nourishing. I see this work in your lives. I hear it in our conversations. I meet people, new people finding the rich soil of the Word in our midst. All praise to Him!
And God is faithful to bring workers. I am humbled by the hours of service that faithful Sunday School teachers dedicate at all levels. Bible studies have qualified and faithful leaders. C-Groups are poised to flourish. Ministry teams pray and plan. Elders and deacons serve in so many ways. Our finances are watched over and stewarded with care. And there is staff. Faithful servants in the office and in the halls. Ministry staff that has served through the decades (Steve, Susan, Scott) alongside new workers for new fields (Addison, Daniel, Ruthy). Even now God has given us the opportunity to nourish a sapling in our field for probable transplant into another field (intern Simon Boenaidi). It is quite an ecosystem, humming with life and balance, each part critical to its sustainability regardless of its visibility.
But in all things let’s give praise to the Lord of the Harvest for the work he is doing in and through our field!