My wife Penny and I planted our garden yesterday. Actually, I only prepared the soil; Penny did the truly dirty work: she put the plants into the ground.
This summer, we'll harvest tomatoes, peppers, eggplants, cucumbers. I can already taste the delicious salads and grilled vegetables.
Without planting the garden, we'd do no harvesting.
And so it is with the Gospel or Good News, which is that God loves us unconditionally and always in Jesus Christ; and in Christ, God saves us from all our enemies, whatever and whoever they are.
I am a Christian today because my mother (and later, others) shared the Good News of Jesus with me. She brought me into the church, which is the community in which I enjoy fellowship with God for my nourishment, healing, and support.
This Sunday, Pentecost, I'll reaffirm my Baptismal Covenant, including my promise to God to share the Good News in words and deeds with others, empowered by the Holy Spirit.
God helps me proclaim the Good News. I do so not on my own, but in partnership with God.
Today, many people are unaffiliated with religious communities--perhaps as many as 40 percent of the U.S. population--but they want to know a power greater than themselves, a power to whom they can connect, a power who will give their lives meaning, purpose, and support through stories, music, and rituals within a worshiping community.
These people are seeking God.
They might eventually find Him and Christ's church on their own, but that discovery is much easier if someone tells them about God (and shows them God by his or her love) and invites them to church.
In your daily prayers, ask God to lead you to someone that day with whom you can share the Good News of Jesus as you have known it--and Him--personally.
And invite that person to church with you this Sunday to celebrate Pentecost and God's gift of the Holy Spirit to Jesus' followers, His power and presence with us always.
When we Christians plant the Good News of Jesus, we plant the seeds of His love in others and in the world. And that planting will lead to a delicious harvest, a world that is once again God's garden.