This summer, Incarnation families are gathering weekly at Alcova Heights Park, or at home, or in another lovely natural spot for a relaxed time of family prayer and nature exploration—read this post for a quick primer. Here’s this Sunday’s wonder-worthy scripture:
That same day Jesus went out of the house and sat by the lake. Such large crowds gathered around him that he got into a boat and sat in it, while all the people stood on the shore. Then he told them many things in parables, saying: “A farmer went out to sow his seed. As he was scattering the seed, some fell along the path, and the birds came and ate it up. Some fell on rocky places, where it did not have much soil. It sprang up quickly, because the soil was shallow. But when the sun came up, the plants were scorched, and they withered because they had no root. Other seed fell among thorns, which grew up and choked the plants. Still other seed fell on good soil, where it produced a crop—a hundred, sixty or thirty times what was sown. Whoever has ears, let them hear.”
Nature focus: soil
Good soil feeds plants that grow our food; anchors trees; filters the rain water that falls. Soil is alive: a teaspoon of dirt contains up to a billion bacteria!
With Jesus’ parable method, understanding the physical thing—in this case, good soil—helps us understand more about the metaphysical/spiritual thing Jesus is telling us. . . and this learning can go on and on forever!
(Those of us meeting up at Alcova Heights this Sunday morning will not worry about getting our hands messy with dirt. We will, however, work on cleaning up trash in the creek and around the park after family prayer. We’ll have garbage bags; if you’d like, bring bags and gloves.)
Options for wondering all week:
Set up a mud kitchen or outdoor play space. Feel great about enhancing the family’s immunity.
Soil painting: mix a spoonful of dirt with a little water to create soil paint. Use a brush to paint on paper or canvas (or the fence, or a leaf canvas, or whatever), and experiment with sticking leaves and grass onto the painting. Send me pics of your masterpieces!
Learn how to evaluate soil texture: loam, sand, silt, clay.
Turn your own food scraps into delicious soil for the plants by making compost at home.
Virginia’s bird is the cardinal, and our tree is the dogwood. Who knew Virginia has a state soil?!
Choose another scripture to read together where Jesus gets dirty: washing feet, writing in the dirt, making mud paste.