Daily Devotional for Small Group Discussion: Just Like a Garden
- Where do you notice signs of life—even in the depth of winter, even in the height of Covid, even in the mess of natural disasters, even in the silence of midnight?
- What seeds are lying deep within your spirit, waiting to bloom?
- How is new life nurtured in your church, in your community, among your friends?
For as the earth brings forth its shoots, and as a garden causes what is sown in it to spring up, so the Lord God will cause justice and praise to spring up before all the nations. – Isaiah 61:11 (NRSV)
December is a hard month. If I were to judge what life was like just by looking out my window right now, I would conclude that life was hard. The light feels hard. The wind feels hard. Even the ground feels hard. The garden in my backyard is nothing but dirt—and hard, pointed, frozen dirt at that.
Yet, sleeping beneath the earth are crocus bulbs and tap roots, hardy perennials and innumerable weeds just waiting for their moment to spring up all over the place. Life persists even in the deepest depths of winter. The hardest soil will be softened and loosened by spring rains. New life and new possibilities will spring up; they are just under my feet even if I can’t see them.
I don’t know what will be going on in our country when you read this. But I bet it will be hard. I bet that if you judged what life was like just by looking at the newspaper today, you would conclude that life is hard. Yet sleeping too in these days is the promise of a world full of righteousness, where the light of justice shines bright as a summer sun. It might be hard to see, it might be hard to believe. But it is very near to us, just under our feet. And any day now, it will begin to spring up.
God of new life and new beginnings, make of this day something new.
John Edgerton is Lead Pastor at First United Church of Oak Park, Illinois.