A Parable to Ponder

Weekly Message from Grace Church

Greetings Grace-filled friends,                               May 24, 2020

A few years ago I came across a parable of sorts that I want to share as we ponder what the Church (local and worldwide) will be like in the future.

Many years ago, in the days when the Czar ruled over Russia, the leader was walking in his palace garden one day. In the far corner of the garden he found a soldier who was stationed as a sentry to guard that particular place. The Czar was confused as to why a soldier would be assigned to such a location in his garden. He asked the man why he was there, but the soldier merely stated that he was ordered by his superior officer to be in this spot.

The Czar began to follow the chain of command up through the ranks to find out why this guardian was stationed in that place in the garden. No one seemed to know anything other than orders had come down from above.

Finally, the Czar discovered that over one hundred years earlier, when Catherine the Great ruled over Russia, she had planted a rose bush in that place in the garden. To protect her rose bush she stationed a soldier to stand guard over that place in the garden. Ever since a guardian had stood tall and strong protecting that corner of the garden. The only problem was that the rose bush had long since died!

The point of the story is clear: What Catherine the Great needed was not a guardian standing tall and strong to protect a rose bush, but a gardener, bending and stooping and working in the soil to nurture the plant as it grew.

As we at Grace Church (and in the national Presbyterian Church) move into an uncertain future, there is a strong temptation to be guardians of past practices. Perhaps, though, the Spirit of God is prompting us to nurture and tend to the world all around us. As you ponder that idea, you’re invited to join us for worship this Sunday at 10:00 am on Zoom as we hear again the story of Jesus’ Ascension.

   Peace, Mark

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