Why we need LIRA

Sep 9, 2022 | Heath farm | 0 comments

This is a guest post from LIRA partners Rev. Timm & Hannah Heath, whose humble homestead grows in New York State’s Southern Tier.

Before God formed the far-flung depths of the cosmos, He shaped the earth and called the first crop of life out of the ground (Genesis 1:11). God planted a garden for the man of earth to teach him to do the same (Genesis 2:8, 15). The earth was made to give life to man, and man to draw life from the earth.

A whole generation of Israelites knew nothing but manna to eat their whole lives. Yet when they harvested the first crop from their new home across the Jordan, the manna ceased (Joshua 5:12). The land God had promised was itself His provision for their daily bread.

Thousands of human souls gathered to Jesus in the wilderness, hungry for His Word. When their thousands of human stomachs were soon rumbling, Jesus didn’t send them away to be filled elsewhere. Instead Jesus asked his disciples, “You give them something to eat. What do you have?” (Mark 6:37-38)

The Lutheran Institute of Regenerative Agriculture puts this life, provision, and question into the the hearts and hands of Christians today. Learning from the wisdom of cultivators ancient and modern, LIRA will teach each coming generation to harvest rich life from the earth in ways that provide yet more richness for the future. The methods taught are eminently accessible, requiring little overhead and minimal land. They also reward innovation, attentiveness, and the honest sweat of the brow by which God says we will eat bread.

With hands in the soil, apprentices will learn the rhythm, skill, and art of a life worth living in every age and every place. They will learn a life that endures regardless of the world’s circumstances, resilient to the world’s changes. They will learn a whole and wholesome life of quiet blessing for all their neighbors. Once trained up in this life, sent out, and settled down, apprentices aid local Lutheran churches to become the cornerstone for their community’s life and welfare.

Broken as this creation is, it is still a divine gift to us. Broken as we are, we are still creation’s lords with the command and responsibility to cultivate and keep it (Genesis 1:28). The world needs from the Church more men and women who know this and live this, many more. LIRA is how we start.


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