Christian Farmers Federation of Ontario Commentary
By Suzanne Armstrong, CFFO Director of Research
“The Kingdom of Heaven is like a grain of mustard seed, which a man took, and sowed in his field: Which is indeed the least of all seeds: but when it is grown, it is the greatest among herbs, and becometh a tree, so that the birds of the air come and lodge in the branches thereof.” (Matt 13: 31-32, KJV)
Lately, Ontarians have been reminded of the high costs of acquiring energy, be it through our use of electricity or of fossil fuels. Maintaining access to these sources of energy requires an amazing and intricate network of infrastructure and cooperation among regions. In order to keep our economy in sufficient supply of electricity and fossil fuels, we use methods of mining or generating that have long-term environmental and social implications. But we have come to rely on them so heavily, it often seems we cannot do our work, move from place to place, communicate, or even grow food without them.
It is humbling at this time of year to look around and see that another far greater energy is at work. Rain, warmth and longer days stir this great force into action. Seeds burst and stretch out tender shoots, plants push up new blades from the ground, the sap runs through branches and swells buds, birds lay new eggs in nests. The power of life is renewing itself once again.
At Easter, Christians are reminded to reflect on this gift of the renewing power of life. What seems like death turns to hope and new life in the resurrection of Jesus Christ, who is, as 1 Corinthians reminds us, “the first fruits of them that slept.” (1 Cor 15:20, KJV).
It is useful to remember that all farmers rely on this incredible power of the renewal of life. Though human power and ingenuity are great, there is also always something greater at work in the soil, in the seed, in the plant, and in the newborn chick or calf, that allows farmers to produce abundantly for so many. Our entire food system, and indeed our economy, fundamentally relies on this underlying power of life.
Soil, says Wendell Berry, “is not a mechanical device but, among other things, a graveyard, a place of resurrection, and a community of living creatures.” Farmers are called in their work to act as stewards of soil and of creation as a whole. Good stewardship uses resources wisely, and has a deep respect for this greater power of life at work in the world. Through good stewardship, the renewing power of life is fostered now and into the future.
At this Easter time, we wish everyone may feel the power of hope and renewal in their lives, and may have the opportunity to celebrate this gift with loved ones.