Hi all (if anyone is left). Sorry about the time between posts.
Right now if you are lectionary preachers or lectionary listeners then you are in the midst of gardening/sowing/farming/weeding and soon, mustarding. They are good solid parables with plenty of room for discussion and pontifications and illustrations. Maybe too much room.
As a former Youth Director I have plenty of experience with seeds that don't grow until much - much - much later. Two of the youth who drove me the most crazy are now pursuing their calls in ministry, one as a certified Director of Christian Education and the other as an ordained Minister of the Word and Sacrament. If you had told me this then, I would have scoffed. Seriously.
As I try to be patient with the process of moving from here, the ripple-effect of choices made by others continues to impact the day-to-day ministry and even life that I lead here. I'm ok thanks to a strong support system (you included) but I am also seriously looking forward to serving in a congregation where I am not paying for the sins of others. Or at least not paying for the sins of one who was once my significant other.
Today I needed to hear a friendly voice and so I called a higher-up in my Support System and she reminded me of the parables that we have been working with this month. I have planted seeds here. I know I have, but right now I am not going to see the growth from those. Too many weeds.
Hopefully some day when someone is in the midst of the valley they will remember me and remember that during my own time of major trial I stood up and preached an Easter sermon. Because God is that good even when we don't feel it. Maybe one of the young women in our youth group will head to seminary or the mission field. Maybe someone will remember that God has a sense of humor too.
I know this place has planted seeds in me and I am looking forward to that growth as well.
I just could do without the growing pains.