Sunday’s lectionary readings can be found here .

This Sunday’s lessons remind us why the weeks of Pentecost are “the green and growing season” in the Church. In them we find a God busily at work planting and nurturing — whether the “garden” in question is the natural world, human society or the soil of our souls.

Preaching, praying or designing worship this week? If so, what are your thoughts on the lessons? Get out your gardening tools and dig in!

33 thoughts on “Tuesday Lectionary Leanings: Constant Gardener Edition

  1. I love this painting. and your words “constant gardener.” I have been thinking a lot about deep roots, the Ephesians text (not one of ours this week) about being rooted and grounded in love), and about why it might be important to yield an abundant harvest.also that crazy gardener!

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  2. Good morning RevGals! I got an early start on lectionary reflecting this week. I reflected on Friday’s Feast of St. Benedict as well as on Sunday’s readings.I mostly focused on the gospel lesson this week, and found that I took the different kinds of “ground” as different places within my soul. Each one of us has places that are rocky, that are weedy, that are brambly and thorny, that are sandy, and that are rich and fertile. And God spreads seeds on all those different areas, but the really great news is that all the seeds begin to grow, even if they don’t last very long. I find this a message of great hope – that those rocky or thorny or sandy places can become rich and fertile if we tend to them lovingly, if we allow God to tend to them lovingly, instead of trying to close them off and pretend they don’t exist.Looking forward to hearing from more of you today!Peace,warriormare

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  3. I’ve been thinking about abundant grace and scattering grace everywhere… and also the Erma Bombeck quote about when she stands before God at the end of her life being able to say I used every bit of talent you gave me. Scattering, wasting, giving with abandon instead of hoarding, fearing, etc

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  4. I’m thinking of the contrast between the way God plants the kingdom and the way we plant. We carefully prepare the soil, select the right seed, plant in pretty rows, etc. God just scatters the kingdom everywhere, in places where we can’t imagine it would take root. Then I’m going to say how hard it seems to be to see the kingdom today: outline all the awfuls and then tell an uplifting story, probably 3 cups of tea, about how the kingdom can grow in places we’d never imagine. Well, that’s what I’m thinking now.

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  5. I found it somewhat ironic, in light of the Gospel text, that, when I drove over to Cold Comfort Cottage to check my mail yesterday, I found that the deer had eaten some of my heirloom tomato plants right down to the nubbins. (They ignored the Beefsteaks and Red Pears and went right for the Brandywines.) I’m trying to discern “What does this mean?” LOL

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  6. Well here I am, working on the Gardening passage with the crazy gardener. I am getting there. I am taking the path of a suggestion in this week’s Homiletics. So I’ll see how it works out.

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  7. I’m going with the seed parable, too. I think I’ll start with a not-so-fortuitous adventure DH and I had in tree-planting and then talk about the extravagance of the sower, and then how we can’t really tell which seeds will grow and which won’t–even in the crummy soils, some of the seeds make it. I’ll probably talk a little, too about he sowers helpers who follow behind and assist where they can. Pretty much along the same way you all are thinking.Thanks for the Homiletics tip. I don’t check for their ideas every week, but I will for sure this week.

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  8. I’m gardening too (as if! I’m thinking about God gardening–that’s a lot more accurate). I’m also thinking of running with an idea I used a few years ago at a youth retreat. Taking the parable from three different perspectives…what if we see ourselves as the seed, as the various soils, as the sower? I may have three sermons there.

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  9. I’m preaching on the sower, and I must confess I’m pulling one from the file and making adaptations since I will be at Interim training the rest of the week.We’ll be singing a hymn I love, “For the Fruit of All Creation,” which has the same tune as one of my favorite lullabies, “All Through the Night.” I would love to do something with planting at the children’s time, but since I will be away, I sincerely doubt I’ll have time to organize it. And it kind of goes against the idea of scattering the seed wildly, anyway. Okay, I’m relieved. No need to supply cups of potting soil and marigold seeds…

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  10. I too am on sower-duty this week, and this Sunday is also the day that our high school youth (and I and three other adults) leave on a mission trip to inner city chicago–a mere 50 miles from home. I am with pastor heather in thinking about how God scatters seed wildly, without checking the quality of the soil first, without finding out how deserving the soil might be of receiving seeds, and how God calls us to do the same (just now thinking of Sara Miles’ book again and how they didn’t ask for ID at their food pantry…)–to sow seeds wherever we might be and to trust that God can use seeds sown anywhere for the furthering of the kingdom. (After all, birds need to eat, right? And a plant springing up in a crack in the sidewalk can be just the beacon of hope someone needs even if the plant lasts only a day or two.)In other words, I’m cutting the second half of the text because that would be a whole different sermon for me, probably one about how soil can’t change itself, we need a whole bunch of things to make ourselves fertile soil rather than rocky or weedy ground–we can’t do it alone. But I don’t have time for two sermons, so the first one it is! 🙂

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  11. Well, I’m taking a different road…I’m in Isaiah (alt) territory this week. Something about the verses “You shall call nations that you do not know, and nations that do not know you shall run to you.” I’m not sure where I’m going with it–I think along the lines of being on the margins and offering the bounty of God to people who least expect it. I have several illustrations on those lines–my mother who loves the way we do Communion and wishes her denomination would imitate us; the guest organist who loves to watch us set up for worship, because something about they way we do it feels to her as if it were part of the service; the couple who came to a worship service thinking we were another church, but who found it so rich that they became members…And house church, so not so much to prepare…which is good, because next Sunday is Pride and I have to gather all my (meagre) powers for that one!

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  12. I’m not preaching this week (I wish I were; I love that passage)but does anybody know where the artwork came from? I’d love to use it for something.

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  13. Running to my presbytery meeting, but thought I’d post my sermon from last week since I was ahead a week in the lectionary. It had a lot of intro stuff, so the meat was most condensed than I usually do, but I felt the need to cover a little about the use of parables and connect what I was doing to previous weeks. Anyway, there it is!

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  14. Songbird, I love that hymn with that particular tune!And I’d use one from the barrel, too, but unfortunately, it’s one I preached here!(that’s what happens when you stay in the same place for a long time.)

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  15. Diane, I don’t like to do it, but I’m grateful for it this week. Although given the amount of tweaking I’ve already done, the only similarity in the end may be the title!

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  16. I love hearing your ideas! I’ve got “All Through the Night” playing along in my head. I’ll go find the lyrics.I’m going with the sower, too.Glad for the company, y’all.

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  17. I confess I am reusing as the central story in my sermon something that I preached about three years ago (too soon to reuse in an urban church, predominantly college students???? tell me, if so, while I still have time to think of something else!): the reason I became Catholic has to do with a woman I never met…someone who planted a seed a long time ago through my mother. I’ll post the sermon on my blog when I write it up. [one of these days I’ll figure out how to put a link in one of these comments, but I guess for now you could find the blog through my profile!]

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  18. “constant gardener” has me thinking about the movie of the same title… (and perhaps it was a book, but I only know the movie)… which was amazingly sad and beautiful. anyone else seen it? I’m going in a different direction, but i wonder if there might not be something for a movie clip in there?

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  19. Searching Soul, I’m looking forward to reading your blog. I’m not preaching this week because we have Annual Conference. BUt I really like the extravagant sowing ideas and even more SS’s seed planted along time ago. I wonder (works with preschool, why not the congregation?) how many seeds turned into ministers of the gospel? I wonder how many seeds became missionaries, here and abroad. I wonder…

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  20. Hmmm. I’m also thinking about Miss Rumphius. Wasn’t she called the Crazy Lupine Lady? I’ll have to check that out.God the gardener is crazy.God doesn’t seem to care where the seeds sprout up. Or God knows that you never know where the good soil might be. Just the places we think nothing would ever grow.

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  21. Hey all – after two months of no preaching I’m due to supply for a local church this weekend, so I’m limbering up the homileticus maximus and writing again!So far I’m much along the same lines as many of you: God’s abundant sowing, the reckless scattering of seed, etc. I’m thinking my title might be “Dumbest. Farmer. Ever.” Just for laughs, you know?Also, a suggestion as you plan worship: the hymn “Lord, Let My Heart Be Good Soil” works very well as a Gospel acclamation this week, for obvious reasons. Good luck to all – see you at the Saturday party…

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  22. “Jesus went out of the house and sat beside the sea.” Doesn’t that sound wonderful?About the parable, it strikes me that I have been all of those states of seedling being. And they have changed with the seasons of my life. As we all know, none of us ever arrive at some complete and final state of being regarding discipleship in this life. that’s why we have the theological term “back sliding.” I can’t help but read this parable as wake-up call in my own walk.I also have images of the plant in the Pixar movie “Wall-E” coming to me, but don’t plan to pursue that thought since the congregation segment that I will be preaching to on sunday does not see pixar movies.happy reflecting and writing this week…

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  23. I too am sewing up the sower in my first sermon ever (yay!). I’m talking about how even poor soil isn’t static but can be nourished back to wholeness. God the profligate gardener invites us both to help scatter the grain and heal the spaces where it will land.

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  24. I’m preaching the Psalm this week (am I alone in this? who’s with me? C’mon! It’s a great text!). Title: The Word that Shines.That’s pretty much all I’ve got at this point….

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