My daughter, Christina, is home from her college in Pennsylvania and worshipped at our outside service on Sunday. She commented afterwards, “It is so amazing having worship beside a cornfield.” She went on to say that many of her eastern classmates think Minnesota is covered with cornfields, so our worship reinforced that stereotype. I reminded her that just north of Bailey Road is a golf course and thousands of suburban homes. Still the cornfield stands out.
Perhaps the cornfield can serve as a symbol of the vibrant life in Christ. Jesus often used the image of seeds to communicate the growing aspect of our life in him
Very truly, I tell you, unless a grain of wheat (or corn?) falls into the earth and dies, it remains just a single grain; but if it dies, it bears much fruit. John 12:24
The cornfield also reminds us that we are called to grow together. The cornstalks are stronger and more resist to wind if they grow in a field together. Yet each cornstalk is unique in it height, breadth and yield. We are all unique creations of God, wired with our own dependable strengths, passions and callings.
The cornfield also connects us to a key petition of the Lord’s Prayer, “Give us today our daily bread.” God uses the farmer, millers, bakers, merchants, and financiers to move the corn in the field to the food on our table. We can be thankful not only for the food but for all the people who work to feed us.
Near the cornfield is the pumpkin patch that our church is utilizing to grow pumpkins for our harvest festival in October. Scott Hanson is working the field, trying to keep the weeds down and the vines growing. It is truly amazing to watch how the vines in such a short time have covered the field. Pumpkins are rapidly growing into ripe fruit. I am reminded that God first put Adam in the garden of Eden to till and keep it (Genesis 2:15). Our patch may not be Eden, but it is direct descendent.
How do you celebrate the wonder of summer growth?
God of the harvest,
I celebrate the earthiness of potatoes just dug up, the sweetness of corn,
the beads of dew on tiny gourds,
the orange glow of ripe pumpkins,
green cucumbers and zucchini,
the garden full of life, health and bounty.