The children planted seeds in church today.
At first Natalie, age two, tried to plant her index finger, pushing it into the soft soil. The small clay pot had her name on it and sat on a picture of the flowers that one day would push their way to the surface – white daisies. Natalie drew her finger out and looked at it quizzically, examining the bits of soil clinging to her skin. She looked at me with large brown eyes.
“Soil,” I said. “The soil will feed the seeds. Now let’s put some seeds in the soil and see what happens to them.”
She watched me pick up the miniscule seed and push it into the soil, then cover it lightly. Natalie did the same. Soon all the seeds were in their beds, tucked in, safe.
“Shall we water them?” I asked. “Give them a drink?”
Natalie nodded sagely and I helped her tilt a watering can spout toward the black loam lying in its terra cotta sanctuary. Soon the soil was watered, the seeds drinking in the moisture that would transform them from specks to green and growing plants.
As we sang our Church Year Song and made our magnets to take home with the first verse of the hymn, I thought how this little Sunday School room tucked in the back of the church was like that little pot, a safe place away from the noise and bustle of the world, a place that nurtured and fed us. Here we learned of God, praised him in song, and memorized his words. We were watered and fed, sending our roots deep into eternity.
Later the teachers and children formed a line in the narthex and entered the big church where the grownups knelt in worship. We paused in the back as the priest raised the gleaming white host and cried, “Behold the lamb of God, behold him who takes away the sins of the world.”
We made the Sign of the Cross, and stepped up the red-carpeted aisle to the altar rail. The tabernacle, draped in Trinity green, stood welcoming between the tall flaming tapers. The light seemed to move about the sanctuary as I stepped toward it, Natalie’s tiny hand in mine. When I genuflected, she bent her little knee as well. I folded my hands and she folded hers. We knelt at the altar.
She watched with her large eyes as the priest gave me a Host and gave her a blessing, each of us fed by the appropriate food at that moment in our lives.
We are in the green season of the year, the long season of Trinitytide, stretching from Trinity Sunday, usually early June, to Advent, early December. The Gospel lessons are feeding lessons, instruction that helps us to grow in God. It is a quiet time, this time between the great festivals of Christmas, Easter, and Ascension, this lazy summer time leading into fall.
It is a time of planting seeds and watching them grow in the hearts of these children. It is a time to dance and sing, to hear the music of God’s words as they shower upon us, into our hearts and minds. It is a time to be watered and fed so that new shoots may appear above the soil, pushing up toward the light.
It is the green season of Trinitytide, a time of growing.