Friday March 23, 2012
I did not know about the season of Lent until I was an adult. At home, my family was only nominally religious. We did not read the Bible, say grace at meals, pray before bedtime, or attend church together. If Lent was mentioned in the austere Baptist church that I attended regularly by myself, I didn’t notice. It wasn’t until I went away to college and was exposed to other Christian traditions that I learned that there was a rich history in Christianity of seasons, rituals and practices. Some of the Lenten practices that include Ash Wednesday, fasting and other spiritual disciplines have been rich experiences for me.
As a young adult I also became interested in gardening, and began a life-long habit of planting a vegetable plot every spring. Perhaps because I came to both gardening and Lent as practices at the same time, I find the metaphor of the grain having to die before it can produce much fruit a meaningful way to understand the mystery of Easter. For this day in Lent, I commend to you the hymn “Now the Green Blade Riseth”:
Now the green blade riseth from the buried grain,
Wheat that in the dark earth many days has lain;
Love lives again, that with the dead has been:
Love is come again, like wheat that springeth green.
It’s Hymn 311 in our hymnal, and I’ll probably be humming it today.
-Submitted by Pat Hitchcock
How is seeing a grain of wheat fall into the earth and die a metaphor for seeing Jesus? How has loving your life taken you further from it? How has “hating” your life in this world brought you closer to eternal life?