Jesus in a Jar (A Children’s Homily)

Once upon an Eastertide, a little boy came home singing Pete Seeger’s — The Garden Song: “Inch by inch, row by row, please, bless these seeds I sow.” (You can click here to hear Pete Seeger sing it, along with the words!)

At school the little boy, along with his class, had planted bean seeds in jelly jars. Each day they tended their little glass gardens, checking the moist dark earth. Some of the children drowned their seeds with love. While others, their seeds withered from neglect. While others, theirs miraculously sprouted and grew.🌱

Tiny green shoots poked their heads into the fluorescent light. Slender green vines wound around the inside of the jars.🌱

And then one day — the little boy proudly brought his home and set it down on the kitchen table. His mom asked, “Okay, my little Sweet Potato, what’s this?” And the little boy replied:

”That’s Jesus, mom. That’s Jesus in a jar.”🌱

It wasn’t exactly “Now the green blade riseth” but it was sweet. That sweet little boy was my son Jacob (Now 33 years old and working masked on the frontlines at a Winston-Salem Publix Grocery Store.) Sadly the little Jesus vine did not survive very long — but don’t blame Jacob. You can blame Joani!😊🌿

Even though unbelievably, I once worked at a plant store called “Great Plants Alive,” most of the plants that came home to my house, came home to die.😢🌿🪴

And back in the day when I still had a backyard, I was quite happy to just let Mother Earth be my gardener. So whatever grew — grew – and whatever withered – withered – be it crab grass, wild violets, clover, dandelions. My yard was a little city patch of green. And since I had no green thumb, this was my rule:

If it’s green, let it grow.🌿

In today’s gospel, Jesus tells us how God’s garden – how a community of faith, like our church grows.🌱🌿🪴🌳

“I am the true vine, and my Father is the vine grower… Abide in me as I abide in you… I am the vine, you are the branches. Those who abide in me and I in them bear much fruit, because apart from me, you can do nothing.”

We need to water and fertilize the garden, but God gives the growth.🌿

Planted in the rich soil of God’s loving words, our words may be loving too. 🌿

Sprouting up from the dirt, we bask in the warmth of the life giving Son.🪴🌞

Rooted deeply in God’s earth, we are nurtured and strengthened to do God’s work.🪴

Vines intertwining, God connects us in community not just to Jesus, but to one another too. 🌱🌿

So, my young growing friends, I invite you this week to plant your own “Jesus in a Jar” (or in a pot or in a garden) to remind you how God’s love abides in us and we in his. 🪴🪴🪴

And if it’s green, let it grow.

Spirituality The Episcopal Church

eecvoices View All →

The Rev. Joani Peacock, Editor for Emmanuel Voices: A Parish Blog

%d bloggers like this: