Creating Spirit

The angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. And now, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you will name him Jesus. He will be great, and will be called the Son of the Most High, and the Lord God will give to him the throne of his ancestor David…The angel said to her, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; therefore the child to be born will be holy; he will be called Son of God.
Luke 1:30-32, 35 (New Revised Standard Version)

In the fall of 2017, I worked with two individuals, who were not members of our congregation, to create a community garden at our church. Reflecting on the combination of things that happened during just three days, I believe the Holy Spirit was with us as we made creative garden development decisions. We are in an urban area that is identified as a “food desert.” Our goals were not just to provide food for families in need, but to provide education for individuals to help them produce their own fresh vegetables, to build community, and to develop meaningful relationships with individuals in our community.

We’ve just completed our fourth year of production. Unlike some community gardens we have never had a problem with keeping volunteers. Over 90% of our garden volunteers are from the community and are not members of our congregation. The Creating Holy Spirit was with our congregation as we identified our mission as “Living Christ’s love within a changing world,” and as we developed our plans to help individuals in need. Because of relationships that have been developed because of the garden, doors have opened during this past year that will lead to quality of life improvements in our neighborhood. It is amazing what the Holy Spirit can do.

God created the child that will be called Holy, Son of God. God, through the Holy Spirit, is also the creator of many ways for our congregation to spread his Word while providing food to those in need.

Prayer: God our Creator, you show us the path of life. Cultivate healthy congregations that tell of and enact your reconciling love through the Creating Spirit. Amen.

Bruce – Cohort 1: Inspire. Ignite. Invite.
Bethany Lutheran Church, Indianapolis, IN