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Viewpoint from Revd Dan Waite 15/05/2020

Dan WaiteRevd Dan Waite
Associate Minister
St Andrew’s Church, Gorleston

as published in the Great Yarmouth Mercury

Gardening with God

Genesis tells us that when he created mankind, “the Lord God took some soil from the ground and formed a man out of it, he breathed life giving breath into his nostrils and the man began to live. Then the Lord God planted a garden in Eden and there he put the man he had formed ... to cultivate it and guard it”
As a nation, until the Industrial revolution, the majority of people lived in rural communities and for better or worse each person was inexorably linked to the passing of the seasons, the growth of crops, and hopes for a bountiful harvest. Our forebears knew the mustard seed principle of God’s kingdom, something very small planted in soil then growing with the benefit of sun and rain into something significant and often for food to sustain them. They understood the seasons, the healing properties of different plants, and tried to see God’s hand of creation in the shape of the leaves and flowers. But over the past couple of hundred years, we have largely divorced ourselves from daily interaction with nature – apart from the weather – as more and more people gather in towns and cities where involvement with growing things becomes more and more remote
Of course not everyone sees God in cultivation, with some it is the sea with both its gentleness and power. Others find an affinity with God in the heavens, in the sky with the warm to hot sun by day and the softer moon light augmented by the myriad of stars in the sky. Psalm 19 reminds us that, “The heavens declare the glory of God, the stars proclaim the work of his hands”. Still others see God in the creativity he has given to us in the artistic gifts of painting and literature, music and acting, design, and the development of ideas in the fantastic minds we have been given
 I am not an expert gardener and the gardens we have around the house are more “blossom where you are planted” than ordered and tidy like the gardening magazine pictures. Although I buy seeds and plants, I am more a believer in serendipity (happy and unexpected discovery), so many of the plants in my garden arrive as the result of God’s agents, the birds, the squirrels and the wind. So with God’s gift of abundance we can pass on, and share the extravagant gifts of his creation with others. For me, the work of gardening is a prime example of kingdom activity, of man working with God to carry out his good purpose in this world he has created
Grow with God this year

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