While at the seminary I’ve heard (more than once) a fantastic view of what it is to be called to serve a church. It’s a simple view, rich in beauty that sees each parish as a particular plot of Paradise and each pastor as the gardener whose task it is to tend to it. I love this way of thinking! I’m being called to a joyful labor where each day I have the privilege of nurturing the beauty, that is the Christian faith, of each flower and tree as I fertilize the flora with the Word of God.
As I think about this amazing imagery, however, I tend to want to revise it ever so slightly, for in this analogy I don’t see myself as the gardener but rather as His spade. I’m but a tool in His hand. Each parish remains a particular plot of Paradise, Heaven on Earth, to be sure! And I, indeed retain the privilege of being called to work it, but as the newly crafted shovel that will daily be used to nurture the faith of God’s beloved flowers, His people in that corner of His Garden. All the work is accomplished by the Holy Spirit! What a blessing it is to be a part of His landscaping process.
© 2014 Tyrel Bramwell