The Chaplain’s Meditation Moment
From your Chaplain……………….
It’s mid-December and the seasonal rush bears down on us each day! We love the excitement and truly “It’s the most wonderful time of the year” because of family, friends, shopping, cooking, decorating and all for our favorite holiday of the year. Christmas is so very special and meaningful; and that is because of traditions, especially gift giving, we associate with the season.
The gift of LOVE came down at Christmas in the form of a tiny babe born in the town of Bethlehem in Judea. What a great gift to all who believe from God, our creator! Every year we celebrate Advent in our churches to remind us and it invites us to once again prepare our hearts for this gift. This is our opportunity to say yes to the gift which prepares our hearts for the miracle of Immanuel, “God with us”.
Advent comes from the Latin word adventus which simply means “coming”. Advent begins on the fourth Sunday before Christmas. Christians around the world celebrate the First Advent, Jesus’ birth, and also anticipate the Second Advent, Christ’s return. Themes may differ but those most often observed during the four weeks are HOPE, PEACE, JOY, and LOVE.
It is my privilege as GCSC Chaplain to send greetings to each of you. 2017 has been a very good year and Donna’s theme with birds has offered us many of life’s truths. As part of God’s creation, the birds offer us the opportunity to reflect on hope, peace, joy and love.
May the God of miracles and the Creator of all things continue to reign in each of our hearts, through the presence of the Holy Spirit and the love he has given in the person of his Son, our Lord Jesus Christ. Amen
Mary Rivers, Chaplain, Garden Club of South Carolina
From your chaplain………………..
“I will give thanks to you, Lord, with all my heart; I will tell of all your wonderful deeds.” Psalm 9:1
Fall arrived in South Carolina and it followed very harsh weather all across the state. Many leaves lay on the ground from the winds rather than the change of season. Yet, we all were blessed that things were not as bad as they could have been. God is good and we need to always thank Him.
Fall brings time for some plantings though not as widespread as the spring planting season. Keep in mind that before anything can be planted, the soil must be prepared. So it is with our lives; we must allow the softening mulch of God’s forgiveness to give air and breath to the soil of our hearts. Prejudices—taught in our childhood or imposed by our society—must be released. Fear must be replaced by trust, and suspicion by childlike hope and acceptance. These changes in the soil will not come easily or without sweat, but any good gardener knows that preparing the soil is necessary labor. It gives the seeds and bulbs a chance to grow and eventually to exhibit all that is hidden in their complex genetic structure.
Fall also allows us to watch the birds as they head south for the winter. Good gardeners will remember to prepare the back yard habitats for the birds that remain locally. Give them food, water, and areas for nesting and protection.
Thanksgiving comes toward the end of the fall season. Prepare your turkey, remembering that ole’ Tom is the biggest local bird that we watch in the wild and enjoy on our tables. Give thanks for our every blessing!
Happy Thanksgiving to each and everyone.
Mary Rivers, Chaplain, Garden Club of South Carolina
From your chaplain……..
Life in our Gardens
How relaxing and rewarding it is to sit quietly and reflect on the life in our gardens! Even in the heat of the summer, we can enjoy its sights and sounds. Butterflies, birds and the plants all have a message for us….. everything comes from and belongs to our Father in Heaven. All living things are under his absolute supervision.
That is one of the implications of the sparrow falling as told in Matthew 10: 29-31:
“Not even a sparrow, worth only a half a penny, can fall to the ground without your Father knowing it. And the very hairs on your head are all numbered. So don’t be afraid; you are more valuable to him than a whole flock of sparrows.”
God is alert to everything that is going on in and around us. And why? Because Jesus said that God loves us! We are precious to Him and nothing can touch us without first passing through the filter of God’s love. We need not be afraid and should live our lives with confidence. Reflecting on the life of the common house sparrow, we can enjoy each day knowing that God has his eye on each of us. We have nothing to fear. All is well.
Lord God, Thank you for life. As we share your love for our wonderful garden, the earth, help us to use our resources wisely, protect our environment and encourage others to do the same. Amen
Our president’s theme for the coming two years centers on birds! How exciting and challenging as this allows us to focus our yearly programs and projects on quite a wide range of related topics and many resources to employ. A new, but as old as the world, opportunity awaits us, the gardeners of South Carolina! We’ve had the birds since the time of creation yet there is so much new to learn and share.
No matter where you live in South Carolina birds abound. And like the purple martins that annually return to Lake Murray, we will return to Columbia in July to attend the annual President’s Expo. It’s a must for dedicated clubbers, just as disciplines are a must in our spiritual lives. To keep us connected to the true vine, we branches must keep connected to God through prayer, worship and bible reading. I challenge you to see how many references to birds you can find in our Bible.
So, how does this all fit together? I think it was said best by American ornithologist, Roger Tory Peterson, “,,,, birds are far more than robins, thrushes, and finches to brighten the suburban garden, or ducks and grouse to fill the sportsman’s bag, or rare waders or warblers to be ticked off on a bird watcher’s checklist! They are indicators of the environment—a sort of environmental litmus paper”.
Yes, Garden Clubbers of South Carolina, you hold the litmus paper. God gave us dominion over the birds and the environment. Remember our works and our faith are connected as evidenced in our plans for 2017-19.
Blessings, Mary Rivers