Thursday, May 28, 2009

Firey Harvest

I've been planting my kitchen garden with my darling, back-from-college daughter. While we are still settling the squash hills and refreshing the bachelor buttons, there is a tender harvest of rhubarb, mint and parsley, chives and lettuce. And don't forget the iris, the lilacs and the spirea fountaining over the fence to nourish the heart.

It's not the rich satisfaction of the full harvest; it is the earnest of things to come. It's the taste of hope, the poetry of promise. A chance to celebrate the day of small beginnings.

Sunday is Pentecost. 50 days after the Resurrection. The Feast of the firstfruits, when the early crops begin to come in. The day when Moses came down to the newly-freed slaves with the Law that would teach them to live as free men. The day when the Law was written not on stone but on hearts. The day when hundreds heard that Law and its Good News in blazing syllables of their mother-tongues. And such a young harvest it was! 3,000 souls, wasn't it?

In our family, we are looking for ways to enter together into the joys of what God has done for us, so we want to learn to celebrate Pentecost. We want our longings for home, for each other to be tied to our wonder at God's might and goodness.

So this Sunday, we will have the first barbecue of the season (fire!), and eat those first fruits (Tabbouleh, Rhubarb Crisp and ice cream) in the garden where the iris and lilacs are in riotous bloom. And we'll talk - even though we'll just be using the one tongue.

We'll read missionary stories to each other or tell of God's work in other cultures to translate His marvelous message of new beginnings for minds unused to such things. We'll talk of the dreams He has put in our hearts, and of the messages of His love that are burning in our mouths. And if He should send us guests that day, we trust they will hear His message in their own language.

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