Today I said goodbye to the lovely corn that has surrounded our house for the summer. When Ed and I moved into the parsonage on Friendship Rd., the corn was a little more than waist high. It was dark green, and full of life. I embraced our new home and took the corn as a sign of hope that God had placed Ed and me just where we need to be.
During the summer, the corn grew, and I felt safe and secure. I was surrounded by the family of God at Friendship UMC and the corn. It was like a big-acre cocoon that held us close as we settled in. The corn matured, tasseling, making ears, and turning to the bright yellow grain that when harvested is made into corn bread, corn chips, and corn oil, ethanol, cow food, people food, dog food and so many other life-giving products.
I now look forward to the next crop the farmers will plant in the field, wheat, soybeans; something green, something growing.
In Ecclesiastes 3:2, the author (whom tradition identifies as Solomon, son of David and Bathsheba), couples the images of birth and death with seed-time and harvest. I am reminded by the cutting of the corn that we all will one day be called to our forever home with God. It will be a joyous day for the believer who goes, and a mournful day for those left behind to grieve.
Even as I watch the corn be cut and carried away in the big semi-trucks, which is a little sad, I am encouraged when I think of the divine cycle of living, dying and living again. Jesus said, “unless a grain of wheat falls to the ground and dies, then it only remains one seed. But if it dies, it brings forth much fruit” (John 12:24). Jesus was talking about himself. He was giving a sign that in his death, there is life. He was also incarnating the standard for how his followers should live and die as well; becoming the seed bearers, seed planters, and fruit producers for the world.
I wonder, when will I really understand the full force of Jesus' words? Moreover, when will I completely understand their meaning; that we have been given life so that we can till the soil and plant seeds so that when we die, others will grow. Dying is victory to those in Christ Jesus, and so is living. Being called to live here in N. Iredell, I'm coming to see that we all have farming to do!
Lord, give me strength to produce, plant, nurture, and grow all the seeds you give me… ‘til Kingdom come. Amen!
Thanks to Dale Bess, who planted, grew and harvested the corn by our house!!
©2014 Judy H. Eurey