There beneath the willow tree
I learned a lot about the way of things
I learned that everything (the wind, the leaves) has breath inside …

I know
I know this
There is beauty in the way of things

from “There Beneath” by The Oh Hellos (2015)

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That day Jesus went out of the house and sat down beside the lake. Such large crowds gathered around him that he climbed into a boat and sat down. The whole crowd was standing on the shore.

He said many things to them in parables: “A farmer went out to scatter seed. As he was scattering seed, some fell on the path, and birds came and ate it. Other seed fell on rocky ground where the soil was shallow. They sprouted immediately because the soil wasn’t deep. But when the sun came up, it scorched the plants, and they dried up because they had no roots. Other seed fell among thorny plants. The thorny plants grew and choked them. Other seed fell on good soil and bore fruit, in one case a yield of one hundred to one, in another case a yield of sixty to one, and in another case a yield of thirty to one. Everyone who has ears should pay attention.”

Matthew 13:1-9

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Many of the lessons Jesus taught were in parable form. Parables have been described as “earthly stories with heavenly meaning.” In this parable, Jesus uses images from his followers’ agricultural lifestyles to teach a clear message. He uses scenes that the listeners will relate to and find easy to understand because they relate to the earthly meaning of these words.

Jesus is reminding those who are spiritually inclined to surround themselves with tools and people that will help them to continue to grow in the ways of God. Just like a plant needs water, sunlight, and good soil to grow, so the followers of Jesus need scripture, understanding, and community to grow.

As you move through this week, incline your ears and eyes to look for earthly things that might have heavenly meanings. Hopefully, you will find God somewhere you least expect. Maybe it will be through poetry, a favorite song, a sunrise, a conversation with a friend – seek out God in the ordinary.

Sarah Briggs Amoth

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God, open my eyes and open my ears to seek you where I least expect you. Allow me to search the world and find you amidst all things. Amen.

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I pray light will
Leak from our pockets
We’ll be drenched, overcome
At night the fireflies
Streamers at our sides
Silent flaming arcs of hope

All things will change
We wait for the rain
And the promise remains

from “Jacaranda Tree” by Josh Garrels (2008)

Sarah Briggs

Sarah Briggs Amoth resides in Black Mountain, NC and works in Hospital Development and Family Support Services for LifeShare Of The Carolinas. She is a graduate of Wingate University and the Gardner-Webb University School of Divinity, where her focus was Christian Education and Formation. She enjoys exploring the Blue Ridge Mountains she is lucky enough to call home with her husband and husky puppy.

Amazing Grace

Clay Mottley

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