Sunday, November 29, 2009
Little Garden Spots
38"How many loaves do you have?" he asked. "Go and see."
When they found out, they said, "Five—and two fish."
39Then Jesus directed them to have all the people sit down in groups on the green grass. 40So they sat down in groups of hundreds and fifties. 41Taking the five loaves and the two fish and looking up to heaven, he gave thanks and broke the loaves. Then he gave them to his disciples to set before the people. He also divided the two fish among them all. 42They all ate and were satisfied, 43and the disciples picked up twelve basketfuls of broken pieces of bread and fish. 44The number of the men who had eaten was five thousand.
There are times when Mark is particularly vivid and sensual in his presentation of the Gospel. I have heard that in the account of the feeding of the 5000, in the Greek, the arrangement of the groups of listeners had the appearance of "little garden plots".
That is rich! I have been in large gatherings, and have also seen in the presentations of Michael W. Smith or Hillsong, Australia, the segmenting of the large audience by spotlight into such small plots. The impression of the Good Gardener, Jesus, walking in the midst of the praises of his people, stays with me. Of His affording them life, food and joy.
It suggests the particular care of the Husbandman for each garden, for each plant, and his skill in assessing the right combinations of food, refreshment, pruning, light and climate. (John 15: 2)
I am reminded of this phenomenon when looking upon the spotlights of shopping mall, city park or college campus. I can be instant in prayer lifting up the people in each of those settings for the life-begetting input of the Gardener.
Years ago I enjoyed reading "A Gardener Looks at the Fruit of the Spirit" by Phillip Keller. It is full of the imagery of the garden, and helpful guides to the recognition and operation of each of those nine fruit. (Galatians 5: 22,23)
Isaiah 61: 3b
...that they might be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the LORD, that he might be glorified.