Graves into Gardens: All Creation – Sunday April 14, 2024

Some days I find myself thinking, am I really just a self-aware plant?

Now think about it.


Plants wilt and droop when they do not get enough water and nutrients.

They track the sun. Like, literally. If you watch a time-lapse video of a plant in a room, frequently you can see it following the sun over the course of the day. And if you have a plant in a room with like one or two windows, you will see it grow in the direction of the sun.

Plants have different needs, like some need more water and some need less. Some thrive in lower light and some need fuller sun.


And then there’s me.


Picture the scene: it is 3 in the afternoon, I am sitting at my desk and start to feel grumpy with a slight annoying headache. I think, why am I grumpy, I just want my headache to go away, hmm, could it be connected to the fact that I have not had any water, I haven’t been outside, and I haven’t eaten anything that isn’t a carbohydrate? And then, like magic, after I drink some water, eat some protein, and take a couple of deep breaths out in the sun, I feel better. One of my therapists back in Dallas even included sunshine and having fresh flowers in my apartment at least once a month as a part of my tools and plan.


So yeah, some days I find myself thinking, am I really just a self-aware plant? And no, people and plants are different, but we are all a part of God’s creation, created by God. We have thirsts and needs. And for our hungers and yearnings, whether plant or person, God’s word provides.


“All of you who are thirsty, come to the water!” Our scripture today reads.

“Listen and come to me;

Listen, and you will live…

Just as the rain and the snow come down from the sky and don’t return there without watering the earth…so is the word that comes from my mouth.”


The word of God. Usually when we think of the word of God, we think of either scripture or Christ. Scripture is a library of genres and types of writing, compiled by early church councils, originally written down by people inspired by God, and God continues to move through those thousands of year old writings today. The gospel of John refers to Christ as the Word, capital w, starting at chapter 1. “In the beginning was the word and word was with God and the word was God.” But there is something else that is the word of God, something I don’t think we usually associate as God’s word.

Genesis 1, “When God began to create the heavens and the earth – the earth was without shape or form, it was dark over the deep sea, and God’s wind swept over the waters – God said, Let there be light and so light appears…God said, let there be a dome in the middle of the waters to separate the waters from each other…God said, let the waters under the sky come together into one place so that the dry land can appear…God said let there be lights in the dome of the sky to separate day from night…God said..God said…God said.” God spoke and all creation came into existence. The word of God brought water and earth and sky and animals and plants and people. Creation itself, the sun the moon, the daffodils, the herbs and vegetables, the water, you and me, we are all God’s word brought to life. No wonder similar things that nourish the plants nourish us. It is no wonder that the great poet Mary Oliver wrote about nature and God hand in hand. Once I was out in San Francisco visiting a friend. We were talking about Muir Woods and how she and her husband would go walking there. She looked at me and said, that, that is my church.


The word of God is scripture.


The word of God is Christ.


The word of God is creation itself.


The word of God goes forth and does not return empty but nourishes us in the richest and most satisfying of ways.

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