Odd name for a post, but it came up in conversation with one of my congregational elders a couple weeks ago. We were chatting about the spring and how green it was, how many colors of green there are, and about the abundance of blooms. At that point, everything seemed to be blooming or have bloomed. It was amazing to look around and see all the lovely blossoms on trees and bushes. She said to me, “You know that this time of year is called the ‘blackberry winter,’don’t you?!” I said that I’d never heard of that and asked her to tell me more. “Well,” she said, “every year at about this time the blackberries go into bloom and it looks like every fence row has been dusted with snow.”
It is a descriptive name for sure. Everywhere I have looked over the last two weeks has shown me cascades of blossoming blackberry vines. The honeysuckle has gotten into the act as well in the last week or so, but what a tremendous outpouring of blossoms on the blackberries. If even 10 percent of those blossoms turn into berries it is going to be a banner year! This got me thinking about God’s grace and the abundance that God has placed on the earth for us.
The first chapter of the Book of Genesis, which begins the Bible and Tanakh, tells that on the third day of creation God made all the seed-bearing plants and trees. They flourished in the land that God had created, and God saw that this was good. Now, it probably would have been good enough to have a few blossoms and some fruit on the bushes and in the trees, but God made them blossom with abandon and to produce an enormous amount of fruit. Some which will not turn into fruit, some fruit will be consumed and some to go to seed for future generations of that plant. What a phenomenal system which blesses all living things!
This is the way that God is to us in our lives as well. Our bodies are created marvelously and mysteriously. They function well, starting from the smallest of seeds to grow into the people we know and love (for the most part). People are now quite abundant as well with more than 8 billion people living worldwide. It is good that God created the earth to be as fruitful as it is, because that is a lot of bellies to feed every day. Humans learned how to cultivate and to maximize yields – this has allowed populations to grow to the size they have.
In the second chapter of Genesis, the priestly writer states that God created human and put that human in the Garden of Eden to work it and to care for it. This would allow for the Garden to continue to yield abundantly. However, the human did not follow God’s plan. Thankfully, God created the world with enough resilience to continue to yield abundantly, even when humans abused her and did not care for her in a sustainable way. We are facing an ecological crisis now because of this lack of stewardship. It is time for us to look around at the blackberry winter and other signs of abundance and to realize that it could all disappear in our lifetimes if we do not change.
The blessed assurance is that God continues to care for us, even when we do not care for what God has done to bless us so abundantly. However, we need to look around at the beauty of creation and work together to help the earth heal herself. It starts with each of us living in a more sustainable manner and to share the abundance God has given equitably and well. I invite you to come and celebrate God’s presence and abundance with us this weekend. Bring your thoughts on how we can live together equitably and well – and how we can work with God and each other to heal the Earth.
Janelle Broaddus, a senior at Longwood University majoring in psychology, has been named to the dean’s list for the fall 2022 semester. To be named to the dean’s list, students must achieve a semester grade-point average of 3.5 - 3.99 in a minimum of 12 semester hours of course work. Janelle…
Sorry, there are no recent results for popular commented articles.