Gardener Over Mechanic - The Conversation of our Community Part 4

Flowers Elaine Marx
Discipleship: in the Church we so often mistake the accumulation of knowledge, perhaps of God or of the Bible, for the journey that each person takes on their walk with God.

We presume that that this growth takes place at the cross, as if we emerge like butterflies from a cocoon, transformed. Or as if a car taken into a mechanic, it goes in broken and comes out the next day fixed.

There may be a few wrinkles, but the big things: addiction, self-harm, violence, circumstances, lust, greed, hatred, major personal flaws disappear.

At least on the surface that’s what we see.

From the teachings of Jesus we can see that our faith walk is not in the form a quick fix solution. His examples are in the form of a farmer, a tree, a vine, a vineyard, a field, or a path. These illustrations are things that take time; it takes time to grow a plant, to sow a field or to walk a path. By presenting a mechanic like approach to church life we remove the elements of grace and patience from our faith journey.

The truth is that discipleship is more like gardening. It is a transformation process that takes place over the entire life of the plant through various seasons.

As the Church it is our job to provide the conditions within which a person flourishes; the light, water and soil. To create a culture of growth where God can work and where community can develop and encourage one another.

So the vital element is that of relationship. A relationship, like a gardener growing a plant. Their has to be right conditions, time, energy, attention. Any hope for personal growth within a community context can only come out of relationship.

It is hardly a surprise that when talking about the faith journey Jesus talks about growth and plants, and that when God sets the stage for his drama with humanity, it begins in a garden.


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