Last Friday, Janet and I returned home from Williamsburg where we spent 2 days visiting with Janet’s family. During the trip, I conducted some business in the area as well, and to be honest about it, I am busier than I have been in quite some time. The weather was beautiful – upper 80’s, a far cry from what we have been experiencing in Indiana, although today did turn out nicer, for a change.
It’s amazing to me how easy it is to get caught up in the moment and forget about what is going on back home when I am out on the road. Of course, I know how everybody is doing, but I have learned to be able to conduct my business from almost anywhere so actually being in Indiana is not as important as years ago when I was geographically dependent on the area. In one sense, that gives me a sense of freedom but as you have heard me say many times, I never mind coming back to Carmel, IN.
Well, this trip, we returned to temperatures in the mid forties and overcast skies. At least it wasn’t raining when we landed and when we arrived at home, with carry out dinner in hand, the first thing that I noticed was that the grass had been cut. We live in a neighborhood where the grounds are maintained for us and sure enough, the first mowing of the season happened sometime during the two days I was gone. Somehow, I was taken by surprise. I know it’s mid-April, but it just sort of crept up on me this year. Yes, the magnolia tree in the front yard is blooming, but there aren’t as many crocuses and hyacinths up as I normally see in the spring. And the forsythia just starting blooming as well.
But the grass is growing. And whenever I notice the first mowing of the season, I recall my days as a boy getting the lawn mower ready for the chores at home. Dad would get out the lawnmower and make sure the wheels were the right height for the yard. Since we cut the front and back yards at different heights, that meant that I actually had to take the bolts out of each wheel and move them before I went from the front to the back yard. And grandpa’s house – wow – he had this huge Locke lawnmower, imported from England; the kind of mower they used on golf courses. It was large and had all these chains and moving parts. We would sit on the step near the back door and oil the chains and sharpen the reel and make sure that everything was just perfect for the season.
Whenever I think of the new grass, and the return of spring, I think of spiritual renewal. Grandpa always taught me that the spring was when God made all things new after a time of harvest and rest. As a gentleman farmer at heart, Grandpa loved nature and always followed the rhythms of the seasons. And for him, kind of like spring cleaning, April represented that time when we are to take inventory of our lives and refresh ourselves.
In the book of Deuteronomy, Moses wrote down the law and and things that he thought it was important for the people of God to understand about their creator. In fact, it is thought that the entire book of Deuteronomy was one long sermon, and near the end of the book, Moses reveals that God told him to write down the words of a song. It was nearing the end of the life of Moses and before he was to be “gathered to his people” God told Moses that His people would eventually turn away from Him and start to worship idols.
God told Moses to record the words of the song for posterity. In fact, Moses read the words to the people of God before he ascended Mount Nebo to gaze upon the Promised Land before he died. God had revealed to Moses that the people would fall away and that the song would convict them of their corruption and movement toward idols and false worship. Moses instructed the tribes to father together so all could hear what the future would hold.
The verse for tonight references part of the song that was revealed to Moses by God. We are told, in Deut. 32:2, “Let my teaching fall like rain and my words descend like dew, like showers on new grass, like abundant rain on tender plants.” In other words, we are to think about the things of God. Moses hoped that the teachings that God gave us, revealed by Moses himself, would renew us. That they would be as important to us as showers and tender rain are to new growth. And isn’t that what all of us want in Christ – new growth?
My encouragement this evening is to ensure you that God still wants His teachings and His ways to “rain” down on us. My prayer is that as you look out on the newly mown grass, you will remember that God’s word is as important to us as the spring rains are to the renewal of God’s physical creation. Have a great day in the Lord, grace and peace…