Wed., July 20, 2016
Genesis 1:29-30: Then God said, “I give you every seed-bearing plant on the face of the whole earth and every tree that has fruit with seed in it. They will be yours for food. 30 And to all the beasts of the earth and all the birds in the sky and all the creatures that move along the ground—everything that has the breath of life in it—I give every green plant for food.” And it was so.
“Pastor Dianne, who mowed Jesus’ lawn?”
Four-year-old Parker came bounding into the small country church I serve one Sunday morning. He could hardly get the big door open by himself, but he was so excited that someone had mowed Jesus’ lawn. Did I know who?
This little guy’s enthusiasm was simply contagious. His words quickly put a smile on everyone’s face. Yet, I think we were all thinking the same response: Do we tell him it’s not Jesus’ lawn?
Actually, I think Parker’s comments were so appropriate. It IS Jesus’ lawn. As adults, we get very territorial about things: when someone sits in our pew; when our favorite church tradition is tweaked; when music we prefer isn’t the main songs sung every week. After all, it is OUR church, right?
But this is where pint-sized Parker has it right. Too often, we forget that the church buildings where we worship and might be members aren’t OUR churches. They are GOD’s church that we have the great privilege to be a part of. We think the money we give to the church should be spent the way we want it spent. We want everyone to love our ideas and not poo-pa them. While our intentions are often admirable, too often we focus on what WE want and desire than what GOD would want us to embody.
When God created humanity, God gave us a huge responsibility. We are to care for God’s creation. What often happens though is we assume it is OUR creation and forget who IS the creator. Our role is not creator but caretakers: of churches, of ministries, of families, of houses and yes, of lawns. In this sense, Parker has it exactly correct.
During worship, we discovered who did mow Jesus’ lawn. Kevin had mowed it the day before and shared a special story. While mowing, a man stopped by. A few weeks earlier, the church had sponsored a rummage sale. All proceeds are going to the local Blessings in a Backpack, which helps provide food for needy kids on weekends during the school year. The man had purchased an item at the sale but wasn’t sure it worked. He took it home and sure enough, it did work! He stopped by the church to drop off $50 in payment for the item. Had Kevin not been mowing Jesus’ lawn, the man would not have found someone at the church that day. A mowed lawn and another donation to feeding hungry kids. This is what being caretakers of God’s kingdom looks like. Thanks be to God.
Lord God, thank you for reminding us through the innocent eyes of a little boy that the church lawn IS your lawn. Too often, we forget the church was not created by us but by you. And the purpose of this church is to bring YOU glory and honor and not ourselves. Help us to keep perspective of being caretakers of your kingdom. Amen.
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