Tending the Garden of God
This looks to be the warmest week of the year so far and so I began my day here at the church watering. The soggy spring has been good for the foliage, but even one week of heat without sufficient water can really stress some of the vulnerable plants. The bursting bouquets in the planter boxes certainly need an extra serving since they are so exposed. There is also a vine maple we planted six months ago that will need extra water as it is still getting established in its new home. I filled the watering bag this morning so the 25 gallons can slowly hydrate the roots.
Thankfully, we have an irrigation system that takes care of the large part of this task. It is truly marvelous to simply push a button and know that the life-giving flow will supply the need for all our grass, shrubs and trees. If we had to drag a hose around and water every plant individually it would be almost impossible to keep up. But with the irrigation program providing the bulk of the water, and individual watering for the special needs, the flora and fauna at Evergreen are staying, well, green.
As I soaked the snapdragons and petunias, my mind wandered to the task of shepherding our church family. It hit me that our weekend worship services function somewhat like our irrigation system. A large serving of spiritual nourishment is distributed to the entire congregation on a regular schedule. A critical dose of this spiritual water literally flows in via our streaming technology, and as we are increasingly able to actually gather in person, the volume and vitality is far greater. Even through masks!
Speaking of increased capacity, we have some good news on this front. The state guidelines were recently updated to allow churches to accommodate 25% of their capacity. This means our attendance limit for each service is now 85! Even better, once we are in Phase 3 (hopefully quite soon) our limit will rise even higher. So I encourage everyone who is healthy and able to handle wearing a face covering to resume gathering for worship again. Simply click the link on the home page of our website to reserve a spot.
However, the weekend worship services can never do all the work of edification that is needed. This is especially true when many of our members must refrain from gatherings for health reasons. We must have people with shepherding hearts who take their watering cans and give the special attention needed by our various members. I have been heartened to hear about people doing just that as they make phone calls, write cards and whatever else they can to be a conduit of living water in this extraordinary time of need.
Could it be that the garden of God here at Evergreen would not only survive, but actually thrive in these difficult times?