Three Things 8/13/22

  1. Something Good: My arms are covered in small welts from wresting my squash vines into submission. What began as tiny, withered seedlings are now sprawling plants that are determined to put forth roots in our lawn. Billy was not on board with my idea of opening a pumpkin patch, a business venture born of my laziness as a gardener. So, I spent yesterday afternoon sorrowfully removing excess vines, which were bearing fruit beyond their boxes. It grieves me to kill something living and fruitful, but even this is part of gardening. I’m sure there is a spiritual parallel here as well—something about too much of a good thing, without boundaries, can become destructive. Unpruned fruitfulness can lead to eventual unfruitfulness, just as some squashes were rotting because there were too many vines in too little soil. It is good to manage even what is good.
  2. Something True: I am now writing my final “fruit” chapter in my manuscript. It is interesting to consider how, as in gardening, self-control prevents unfruitfulness. We, too, can become overgrown and rotten.

“For this very reason, make every effort to supplement your faith with virtue, and virtue with knowledge, and knowledge with self-control, and self-control with steadfastness, and steadfastness with godliness, and godliness with brotherly affection, and brotherly affection with love. For if these qualities are yours and are increasing, they keep you from being ineffective or unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.”

2 Peter 1:5-8
  1. Something Beautiful: My current favorite hymn is “Thy Strong Word.” The text, by Martin H. Franzmann, is not only packed with theology but is stunningly beautiful. After all, how often do we sing phrases such as “bespeaks us righteous”? I just love it. Should I do a close reading of this text something? Maybe…
Thy strong word did cleave the darkness;
at thy speaking it was done;
for created light we thank thee,
while thine ordered seasons run:
Alleluia, alleluia!
Praise to thee who light dost send!
Alleluia, alleluia!
Alleluia without end!

Lo, on those who dwelt in darkness,
dark as night and deep as death,
broke the light of thy salvation,
breathed thine own live-giving breath:
Alleluia, alleluia!
Praise to thee who light dost send!
Alleluia, alleluia!
Alleluia without end!

Thy strong word bespeaks us righteous;
bright with thine own holiness,
glorious now, we press toward glory,
and our lives our hopes confess:
Alleluia, alleluia!
Praise to thee who light dost send!
Alleluia, alleluia!
Alleluia without end!

God the Father, Light-Creator,
to thee laud and honor be;
to thee, Light of Light begotten,
praise be sung eternally;
Holy Spirit, Light-Revealer,
glory, glory be to thee;
mortals, angels, now and ever
praise the Holy Trinity.

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