Monday, May 14, 2012

Sermon for Rogation Sunday by Kathy Mockett

Rogation Sunday and The Giving Garden
 by Kathy Mockett, Lead Giving Garden Shepherd

I need some helpers up here with me on the steps.  I have 7 bags that need to be opened.  But here’s the hard part.  You need to be patient and wait till I talk to the big kids first, then we can open the bags.

In the Gospel reading Jesus appoints his disciples to go and bear fruit, fruit that will last. To bear fruit that will last could mean to bear children, or, using the fruits of your love to help your neighbor who may not have enough to eat, or, thinking about today, Rogation Sunday, it could mean to be God’s stewards of this Earth to make sure that the plants we plant today and the fruit we harvest this summer, will also provide seeds for us so we can plant more plants the following year.  Let’s keep this thought in mind for a few minutes.

Kate asked me to give a little history of The Giving Garden and how it started.
But The Giving Garden is just a small part of the work that is done outside. There are many people in this parish who take care of the grounds outside and today we especially recognize and thank Ashley Rooney and Peter Lund who tend the side garden and Claudia and David Cooper who oversee the mowing.

Several years ago I was here at church and the Gospel lesson that morning was when Jesus said,  "I was hungry and you gave me something to eat. I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink.  I was a stranger and you invited me in and naked and you clothed me." That thought “I was hungry and you fed me” stayed in my head and later during the service I had an idea about starting an organic vegetable garden on our church land to supplement The Lexington Food Pantry. I was so excited about this idea that this is what I wanted to do; jump up and ask the Minister to stop the service so I could go out and look out the window to see if there was enough space between the LPC fence and the Memorial Garden to start a vegetable garden…..but...I didn't because I'm all grown up….supposedly! :) 

A good idea for a mission project cannot work all alone. With the help and support of my friends, expert gardeners, the youth group and their leaders, The Lexington Christian Academy under the direction of Alan Kalf, Donna Moultrop, Cara Kalf’s mom, our farmer, The Lexington Playcare Center who take over as shepherds if there is a sick shepherd one week and all of you, our many shepherds who volunteer for one week periods, we were able to create a little garden which is now in its fourth year.

A few months after we started the garden, the assistant minister, Dana Allan Walsh, at the Hancock Church, started The Interfaith Garden where faith communities all over Lexington join their efforts.  This garden is to the right of First Parish Church in back.

You can volunteer in either garden; Tuesdays and Saturdays in The Interfaith Garden (the Giving Garden is part of The Interfaith Garden) or take a couple of hours over a week’s time here at The Giving Garden.

What is it about bearing fruit that will last? This is where I need your help kids. Here are 7 bags. Let's open each bag. These four vegetables; the tomato, cucumber, string bean and potato are plants we will plant today.
Here is a little tomato plant (in one bag 1) and here is the tomato (in bag 1A), but look inside the tomato what is in there? Seeds. These seeds are planted the following year and become tomato plants.

Let's look at the cucumber. Here is the cucumber plant (in bag 2)  and here is the cucumber (in bag 2A) . Let's look inside. Look at those seeds, These seeds are planted the following year and they become cucumber plants which make more cucumbers.

Let's look at the string bean plant (in bag 3). The string bean (in bag 3A) has tiny seeds but the following year they will become the seeds we plant that make more string beans.

Now let's look at the potato (in bag 4). Notice there is only one bag for the potato because the potato that we eat is also the potato that we plant; i.e., the potato is a seed in and of itself!

Seeds make plants and plants make seeds and maybe that's what Christ was telling us to bear fruit that will last.  Let's take these plants and put them under the altar and say a little prayer.

Thank you God for all of the plants you have given and help us be good shepherds so that they will bear fruit that will last.  Amen.                                                                                 

                                                                                               Katharine A. Mockett
                                                                                                May 13, 2012

1 comment:

  1. Kathy,
    Simple and great. What a gift you have started at your church with that garden. I love your enthusiasm.