Posted by: rogermitchell | June 2, 2010

Vance’s wheelbarrow

As Vance can spell and understand ‘wheelbarrow’ [see the comments on the last post] I got to thinking about its significance.  The creation story gives us a garden to cultivate and in the first resurrection appearance Jesus appeared to be the gardener from Mary’s viewpoint. So in working for the resurrection of a continent that abused the gift of the gospel to cultivate itself at the expense of poor of the earth I see my blog as a container for carrying away unwanted growth and wheeling in new seed. As Cheryl Bradbury would be one of the first to point out this is no mere metaphor. Theology needs to tend the creation or it’s not really theology.

So a big thank you for those who have made comments on the blog’s accessibility. I welcome further practical suggestions on how to fulfill this task. Today I was re-reading some words the Holy Spirit encouraged me to pray for a dose of when in Candy, Sri Lanka before my first academic breakthrough paper in 2008. We all need fertilising with this as we engage in re-cultivating  the burnt ground of Europe. “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, and before you were born I consecrated you; I have appointed you a prophet to the nations.” The Lord is promising that not only by speech but in writing he is with us to deliver us.   “See, I have appointed you this day over the nations and over the kingdoms, to pluck up and to break down, to destroy and to overthrow, to build and to plant. ” (Jer1:10-12)



  1. As my aching legs will testify, I have been out cultivating the land. Splitting up herb plants to make more plants, putting in seeds and fending off the dreaded mosquitoes (they are so bad this year) and all the while thinking about the Genesis garden. How does all this pan out here in Latvia? What is this second phase all about as we scale up our production and can we actually produce enough to sell some surplus? We won’t go hungry but will it be enough for more than us? So much to mull over and I know there is something in it regarding theology and faith etc but just can’t quite reach it at the moment.

  2. No separation between the material and spiritual surely has to mean no separation between the practical and theological. As I see it you are doing theology if you are knowingly tending God’s creation, despite thorns and thistles and biting insects. Another Vance I knew, not the wheelbarrow one, used to have a great line in exorcising mosquitoes, so I guess it’s worth a try. And if the tending is manifesting love for the creation and humans within it, then it is cup of cold water stuff even for someone who does not yet know the creator they are doing it for.

  3. Remaining close to the context of creation probably helps with important spiritual issues; Jesus gave us many spiritual truths using a creational context. After all, we are ‘drawn up’, created from the dust of the earth, so on the earth is where the penny drops, so to say (= where we begin to understand)…and as said, and prayed we need God’s will ‘on earth as it is in heaven’!

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