What Shall We Sow?

The Rt. Rev. Craig Loya

What Shall We Sow?

“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! By his great mercy he has given us a new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.”

          --1 Peter 1:3

Beloved in Christ,

While studying this passage with some colleagues this morning, Bishop Marty Stebbins of Montana told us about how the dry land farmers in her diocese, who labor under immensely challenging conditions, decide what type of grain to plant every year. They evaluate the moisture levels present in the soil, study the precipitation forecasting models, and then decide which crop is most likely to yield the most plentiful harvest. She noted how remarkable it is that even under the most challenging conditions, the question is never whether to plant, but what to plant. 

That’s a beautiful example of what it means to have a living hope. No matter how challenging the weather, no matter how long the odds, planning for, planting, and expecting fruit. 

One of the gifts we as the church can offer to a hurting world is to be people of living hope. Hope, of course, is not simply optimism. It’s not a superficial wish that things will go well. Hope is clinging to God’s promise that no matter how painful and hard the world can be, love has ultimately triumphed, and we are called to work and wait in expectation of that triumph being fully done, on earth as it is in heaven. 

A question for us as a diocese, and for each individual faith community, is what are we going to plant? In the face of all the foreboding forecasts of the coming election season, in the midst of a drought of justice, in a time of widespread hunger for the bread of love, are we actively planting, investing, expecting the bountiful harvest Jesus has promised? 

In these days of Easter, by God’s great mercy we have been born anew to a living hope. How are you planting, working, and loving with a living hope, bringing the water of God’s perfect love to a parched and barren land?

Grace and Peace,

The Right Reverend Craig Loya