Baptism: How Does Your Garden Grow

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My parents love their vegetable garden and grow all sorts that are good for both American and Korean dishes. I don’t have a green thumb whatsoever. I think I could if I tried and really paid attention but I’m limited in that area lately. But I AM fascinated with gardens whether edible or aesthetic – the way the seeds take root, the slow and purposeful budding of plant and flower, and the necessity every once in awhile to cut away dead pieces to encourage growth. I’m drawn to the simplicity of coaxing things from the earth…and how amazing it is that all that is necessary is water, sun, and some good dirt. There’s something so bless-ing about it.

This past Sunday Andy mentioned nursery rhymes in his sermon because the twins have been much more interested in books lately. But amazingly, we don’t have a collection. The text he preached on was the familiar Parable of the Sower and he used a refrain that came from ‘Mary, Mary, Quite Contrary,’ –

‘How does your garden grow?’

It’s a question that stays with me as I seek to cultivate what the Sower has scattered on my soils, which actually seems mostly rocky these days. There are patches of the other kinds, too which makes for hard, but creative work. There is much to negotiate as a mom and many things to hold in tension. I don’t have to have a green thumb, really all I need is simple – the light and warmth of community, the earthy presence of the Holy Spirit, and the satisfying waters of baptism. Baptism is ongoing to me as we live into the identity of already being God’s beloved. So all this is meaningful too, in the context of the babies’ baptisms, which we celebrated this past Sunday.

It is wonderful that one of the first seeds planted in our little ones’ lives would be the proclamation of God’s love – a love that beckoned them into existence, a love that affirms them as God’s children, a love that is continuously sealed by the Holy Spirit and experienced in the body of Christ. Their little gardens will be tended to by so many amazing souls – I’m thankful.

And so it was special to have both grandfathers do their baptisms and offer their own unique blessings to them – Tom with words that ministered to me and reminded me of my own, and also of this new responsibility, and Ahbba saying the Trinitarian words in Korean as a reminder of my and the babies’ heritage. It meant so much to be surrounded by the new church family, with our parents there, too, and to also feel the presence of the wider church family (I thought of folks especially back at College Hill, Flanders, Pilgrim, Larchmont, and Sardis). I love the anticipation of planting seeds and wondering how they will grow throughout and so it is with the babies, too. This is truly a wonderful season.

We are so blessed!

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