Pastor Mark’s September Newsletter Blog

Pastor Mark’s September Newsletter Blog

“The Lesson of the Basil Seed”
The night before my daughter headed out on her adventure to Southeast Asia, she yelled from her bedroom, “Hey dad, can you take care of my basil seeds?” I was directed to a couple compostable cups sitting on the window sill. Over the last couple of years, Jeriah has been growing a green thumb. Succulents and other such plants have been springing up around the house. She planted these basil seeds while still at school and now she wanted to make sure I would keep an eye on them. The little seedlings were just breaking the surface of the soil and looked pretty fragile, but I said I would do my best. With a little bit of water, and a little bit of patient waiting, by the time Jeriah returned, those seedlings were starting to stretch their limbs.
A few days later, I saw a tiny fan, blowing over those fragile looking sprigs. I asked her, “Why the fan?”
She said that she was told by a fellow “green thumber” that if a steady, light wind continuously blows on the plants, it will make them stronger and more robust. Sure enough, as the continual breeze blew, the stems grew thicker and the plants more hearty.  A few days ago, Jeriah brought in a plant that showed strong leaves and new growth popping out in all directions. She then started plucking off some of the leaves, eating a few and declaring “Now we have ‘fresh’ basil to add to our salads.” And she added, ‘By plucking off these leaves, the plant will grow broader and more healthy rather than a tall more weakly stalk.
This simple seed tale germinated a number of spiritual insights popping out in different directions. 
Jesus loved to teach with stories and parables and often used tangible, ordinary objects to covey, and/or cover up his message. A number of times he used the example of seeds in describing the Kingdom of God. In Matthew 13, Jesus told the parable of the Sower and the seed being spread upon the path, rocky, thorny and good soil. Jesus then spoke about good seed being sown in a field but while sleeping, an enemy sowed weeds among the seeds. (And we are not talking about cannabis here!) Finally, Jesus talked about the mustard seed; so small in its beginning but grows into a large garden plant providing shelter for the birds.
I hope Jesus might smile at this tiny basil seed thing. And I hope you might find a little encouragement with the spiritual ponderings I bring.
I could talk about the watering and waiting that is required in the Christian life. I could emphasize the pruning back that is necessary as part of faith development. I could key on the delight of fresh basil spice and the potential to bring added flavor to the lives of others. But for days, I found my eyes wandering back upon that miniature fan blowing over that tiny basil seedling. I watched the tiny frame constantly quivering in the quiet wind. To be honest, I could not really detect a growth or strengthening of that seedling only the tremors. But given time, it was obvious that Jeriah presented, in triumphant fashion, a healthy, strong, and vibrant plant.
To become healthy, strong, and vibrant followers of Jesus Christ, the constant, steady wind needs to blow.
We need the wind of the Holy Spirit to blow in us and through us.
The wind of the Spirit is the breath of God which allows us to come alive. God also allows a wind to blow against us that we might learn to stand. We grow strong and vibrant in the midst of circumstances involuntarily causing us to quake. We develop a strength of resistance toward the blowing winds of the world and of ready resolve toward God. As we come to KNOW our ability to withstand the continual blowing of the world by the breath of the Spirit, these are the soil conditions of the soul. The steady winds empower us to grow strong and stable bringing flavor to the world around us and stretching our limbs to declare God’s glory and greatness.

“Lift up your hands, (O quivering seedling),

in the sanctuary and praise the Lord.”   Psalm 134:2

“Therefore put on the full armor of God,

so that when the day of evil comes,
you may be able to STAND your ground,
and after you have done everything, to STAND!”   Ephesians 6:13
One Seedling among many,
Standing in the Wind!
Pastor Mark

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