From the editor: August 29, 2014
A Time for All Seasons
If they haven't already, students soon will be returning to school. If we pay close attention, we can see many signs of the late summer season. The most obvious, of course, is the shortening of the daylight hours. I also see signs of it in my garden. Vegetables, flowers, and shrubs are all in various stages of growth and fruition, some even past.
The timetable of these plants was not as exact as I may have thought before I started growing vegetables a few years ago. I agree with Rachel Lu in her Touchstone article, "Food for Thought," that growing vegetables can be a primer in moral philosophy. Tomatoes can teach you that moral relativism is really a philosophical weed.
Gardening also teaches you that there are inescapable natural cycles of birth, growth, fruition, maturity, and harvest. What Scripture teaches, and our Lord makes clear, is that there are also inescapable forces at work in the moral universe that reflect similar patterns. Jesus does not use agricultural metaphors because he is "a product of a peasant agriculture economy." He uses them because they show how things work in the real world, in the undivided world of man as both physical and moral being.
Planting, growth, and harvest is used to describe the kingdom of God, and it is the final harvest that Christ foretells in clear terms, carried out by the angels of God. This is no figure of speech merely. It is final judgment. Of mankind, for what they have done.
God in his holy wisdom took man from the garden and returned him to the soil once he came. Dust to dust. But, in the Pauline agricultural metaphor, the Christian body is planted in hope. In a sense, the cemeteries planted in Europe after Christ are divine agricultural plots, awaiting the final harvest of righteousness.
The devil mimics, parodies, all things divine. He is the enemy who sowed the tares in the Lord's wheat field. Through men like Hitler, he plowed up the soil of Europe, turning it into a chaos of mass unmarked graves, a vast hiding place of undiscovered corpses, bombed, burned, and fragmented beyond recovery.
The world is full of men who think that by killing certain individuals, they can produce a fruitful garden of humanitarian bliss. But the blood of the innocents—the unborn, the hated, the reviled, the persecuted, and the martyred, cry out to the Lord of the harvest. He speaks, he admonishes, and invites all to repentance. His word shall not return unfruitful. The signs of the times have always been there for all to see. The harvest will come.
Yours for Christ, Creed & Culture,
—James M. Kushiner