Rev. Clay Horton believes it's never too late to start planting seeds. What seeds are you planting this Christmas? Join us on Sunday for Christmas Eve worship! Learn more at TMUMC.ORG/christmas.
There's a Chinese proverb that says, "The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The second best time is now."
The Ghost of Christmas past continually reminds us of the trees we did not plant and certainly reminds us of all the weeds we, unfortunately, planted as well. The Ghost of Christmas future gives us a glimpse of the future and lets us see just what trees or weeds might be in our future. In the Hebrew Scriptures, the prophets serve as the Ghost of Christmas future. They point out what is going wrong in society and show the bleak outcome if people continue to stay self-centered and neglect the poor and needy among them. They also paint a picture of a brighter future, one where all people thrive, if only the people will focus on God and God's ways. The prophets show a barren world without trees juxtaposed to a lush world full of trees and life. The choice to plant is ours. God and the prophets invite us to start planting.
The world of parenting is full of planting and hoping that a tree grows. When I'm exhausted at the end of the day, but my kids want, even need, my full attention, I must choose to plant a seed. The intentional time to gracefully (I’m still working on this) walk through disciplinary issues is a seed worth planting. Ensuring we have family time and meals together is not just about the present, but my hope is that the time together waters the ground that will establish healthy relationships and communication in the future.
Planting trees for the future isn't just about our family though. The tangible expression of the Christian faith is often seen in planting seeds and hoping they grow into trees in the future. Trietsch has a number of members who volunteer at Hedrick Elementary School weekly. The mentoring isn't just so students can pass this year, but it's about developing character and academic skills that will blossom well into the future. When I think about the house we will build for Habitat for Humanity in the spring, I know that the present reality for the family will be better because of their new house. However, what excites me the most is the long-term benefits that family will experience. Homeownership helps provide stability for the kids in school and often results in higher graduation rates and an increased probability of going to college. The parents will have an opportunity to build equity and become more financially stable. When we invest in a Habitat for Humanity house, we invest in the future. When we live out our faith by serving in the present, we plant seeds that God will grow well into the future.
When you think about the future, do you see a barren landscape or a field of sturdy oak trees? Jesus invites us to envision a world where the Kingdom of God is fully realized. This looks much more like a forest than a barren landscape. Let's get planting.