Each spring when planting begins in Galilee’s Gift Garden, church members and garden volunteers gather around to pray for God’s blessing on the seeds and soil that will provide fresh vegetables for our community’s food banks. It’s a good time to remember and reflect that life itself began in a garden and that we are all God’s creations.
As I pray at the Gift Garden, I am reminded that this particular garden isn’t on some lush lot with acres of land and an ornate design. It’s in the corner of a parking lot, near a major overpass, where most people would never expect to find a blessing from nature.
Isn’t that just like God—to bring forth abundant life where we least expect it?
Let me share, if I may, the prayer that I prayed over the garden this morning:
God of the Universe,
You made the heavens and the earth,
So we don’t call our home merely “planet earth.”
We call it your Creation, a Divine Mystery,
a Gift from Your Most Blessed Hand.
The world itself is your miracle.
Grain and vegetables from earth are also from heaven.
And so we ask you to
Bless the soil—the foundation, the roots and worms and other creatures that aid its growth
Bless the seeds to take root and grow abundantly.
We pray for protection from disease and creatures that destroy
We pray for rain to nourish and sun for growth
We pray for gardeners to tend the garden—to plant, water, weed, feed, prune and protect.
Bless this garden with an abundant harvest, that it might feed your hope and love into the lives that need it most. Provide for their daily needs, even as you have provided for our own. And give us hands and hearts that continue to do your will.
We’re reminded today of the sacredness of the gift of life—life that began and continues in your garden. All glory and honor and praise to You our Creator, through Christ our Savior,
I’m grateful for the work of Jane and Vini Short who, through their nonprofit organization DeShong’s Gift Back, fulfill a mission to bring fresh produce to those in need. I’m grateful they asked Galilee if they could plant a garden on our premises and that Galilee said yes. I’m grateful our volunteers can experience gardening as a way to be the hands and feet of Christ. And I’m grateful that this garden provides sustenance and strength for the hungry in our community.
In the Lord’s Prayer, we pray “Thy kingdom come, thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.” The garden is just one of the many ways Galilee is fulfilling our commitment to partner with God (think of that!) in building God’s kingdom—making “down here” a little more like “up there.”
I invite you to work alongside us, build God’s kingdom with us, and volunteer in our garden.
You can help! There is always more work than there are volunteers. Check out the DeShong’s Gift Back website or call Vini Short at 703-314-9296 to volunteer.
Pastor Geitra Mickelson