Reflection: Gardening, farming
Almost half the parables told by Jesus had gardening or farming settings. It is obvious that the years spent growing up and working in Nazareth, with regular pilgrimages to Jerusalem, meant that he closely observed the habits and rhythms of the natural world.
He then built stories and teaching around those images.
The Sower is probably his most famous story.
While the meaning of some parables might be debated, this is one he explained to his disciples. It reveals the different responses to his teaching. For some, it is snatched before it hits ground. For some, it never even has a chance to take root. For others, it is choked out by the troubles and cares of the world. While for others it takes root, grows well, and bears fruit.
The images are so strong that we might recall it when we or others sow seed; when we see birds raiding a garden patch; when we see ground too rocky to produce; when we encounter thorns or weeds; or when we are overwhelmed by a bounteous crop.
An everyday image linked to teaching is a powerful tool.
Once a friend told me that every time I do the washing up I should picture forgiveness through Jesus washing away my sins. It has transformed a basic chore.
Question: What are the modern-day equivalents to gardening or farming that can connect with teaching?
Prayer: Our Lord, Thank you for the powerful connection between images and teaching. Help us to look for everyday parables around us. Amen.