The Farmer's Market in Shepherd King's parking lot was open for business on Maundy Thursday, April 21st. What a wonderful beginning! There were four venders selling all sorts of fresh delights - corn on the cob, squash, onions, tomatoes, greens, berries, eggs, and even freshly slaughtered chickens. Wow! Quite a few people came by and bought goods from them. It was a tremendous success. We are so glad to have the South Texas Farmer's Market setting up at Shepherd King to provide food for our neighbors.
What could be a better sign that spring is here than fresh produce? My own vegetable garden is small and just beginning to sprout. In about a month we should have homegrown potatoes, carrots, green beans and swiss chard. Food always tastes better when it's grown in your own garden (the farmer's market qualifies as "home grown"). But gardens are struggling in Texas these days. We are in a serious drought and wildfires are burning in all but two Texas counties. Goodness me! It sounds like the whole state might just burn up. We need rain badly. May God be gracious to us and water the earth here.
What a week - the Farmer's Market opens on Maundy Thursday, we meet at the foot of the cross on Good Friday, and then on Easter Sunday we rejoice in Jesus' resurrection. Isn't that pretty much the pattern of life? Celebrations are followed by mourning which leads to concern and worry. But regardless how dry and dismal life becomes, God brings a new day, new life, hope to weary hearts. God gives us food even during drought. God decides when it will rain and when it will not. And God has judged that death is not final but that life prevails.
We gather early on Easter Sunday, out in front of the church with our candles and a new fire. The dim glow of candlelight leads us into the darkened nave as we recount the wonder of that first Easter day. We remember the history of God's involvment with humankind - the Genesis account of creation, Israel's escape from bondage in Egypt, the prophet's words offering hope and life, the inspiring story of Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego in the fiery furnace. Then the sun rises, the lights shine in the church, and we sing with joy of the victory of Jesus Christ, raised from the dead. The world is renewed and our hearts are uplifted because the Lord lives. Thanks be to God.
May you be blessed this Holy Week. May the resurrection of Jesus stir up your heart and shine in your life.