4: April ~ Blessing of Seeds and Rain

It is not far-fetched to say that our health, our very lives, depend on the sprouting of seeds. The planting of seeds and nurturing through harvest, we receive God’s choicest blessings when we break from our labors and enjoy a simple meal. Saving some of the new seeds allows us to continue this miraculous cycle of nature.

Besides planting in the good earth, seeds cannot grow without fresh water. The cycle of rain blesses us, and water stored in the ground is our true treasure. Let us seek God’s guidance in finding ways to better utilize seeds and water so that farming can become more sustainable for all who find their vocation on the land.

 

Opening Prayer

Let us pray: God, who created everything and everyone, we ask you to be with us now in this place. Send your Holy Spirit upon us that we might pray well and bless your name. Help us to care for “the seeds which are the Word of God,” the living words your Son shares with us. Let the hard work of sowing  and tending be crowned with an abundance of life. We ask this through Christ our Lord. Amen.

 

Song of Praise: Psalm 126:1-6 (A Song of Ascents)

Response: They shall come back rejoicing, carrying their harvest of grain.

When the LORD restored the captives of Zion,

we thought we were dreaming.

Then our mouths were filled with laughter;

our tongues sang for joy.

Response: They shall come back rejoicing, carrying their harvest of grain.

 

Then it was said among the nations,

“The Lord had done great things for them.”

The Lord has done great things for us;

Oh, how happy we were!

Response: They shall come back rejoicing, carrying their harvest of grain.

 

Restore again our fortunes, Lord,

like the dry stream beds of seasonal rivers.

Those who sow in tears

will reap with cries of joy.

Response: They shall come back rejoicing, carrying their harvest of grain.

 

Those who go forth weeping,

carrying sacks of seed,

Will return with cries of joy,

carrying their harvest of grain.

Response: They shall come back rejoicing, carrying their harvest of grain.

 

Reading: Mark 4:26-29 (Parable of Seed’s Growth)

Jesus said, “This is how it is with the kingdom of God; it is as if a man were to scatter seed on the land, and would sleep and rise night and day, and the seed would sprout and grow, he knows not how. Of its own accord the land yields fruit, first the blade, then the ear, then the full grain in the ear. And when the grain is ripe, the sower wields the sickle at once, for the harvest has come.”

 

Selective Readings from Scripture

Genesis 1:29

And God said, “Behold, I have given you every plant yielding seed that is on the face of all the earth, and every tree with seed in its fruit. You shall have them for food.”

Psalm 72:6

May he be like rain that falls on the mown grass, like showers that water the earth!

Isaiah 55:10

“For as the rain and the snow come down from heaven and do not return there but water the earth, making it bring forth and sprout, giving seed to the sower and bread to the eater.”

Hosea 10:12

Sow for yourselves righteousness; reap steadfast love; break up your fallow ground, for it is the time to seek the Lord that he may come and rain righteousness upon you.

John 12:24

Truly, truly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit.

Galatians 6:8

For the one who sows to his own flesh will from the flesh reap corruption, but the one who sows to the Spirit will from the Spirit reap eternal life.

James 5:18

Then he prayed again, and heaven gave rain, and the earth bore its fruit.

 

Quiet Reflection, or people may share their thoughts.

 

Closing Blessing

(Have some seeds and water placed in the middle of those gathered; ask people before hand to bring seeds of their own. Invite them all to extend their hands in blessing over the seeds and the water.)

Loving God, the Spirit of Life hovered over the waters and began the great work of creation. Bless the waters of this earth. Let them fall again from the sky at the proper times so that our gardens and fields may yield abundantly, and all growing things may thrive.

Bless also these seeds, pregnant with life. They show us the Easter mystery of new life coming from death and burial. May they burst forth soon with verdant growth from earth, rain and sun.

You have called us to the honored task of being workers in your garden. Through the rain and these seeds, bring us to a new awareness of your presence in and around us, as we joyfully live in the knowledge of eternal resurrection.

Plant seeds of love in our lives that will grow through the years, watered by the tears of pain and sacrifice that come our way. Your Son showed us the way. We now ask your guidance to follow it well. We ask this through Christ our Lord. Amen.