Friday, May 15, 2009

Branching Out

John 15:1-12

It hit me this week that I give a sermon that has something to do with planting or growing something each Spring. It's not intentional. It happens because I'm itching to get out in the dirt this time of year. About the only time of year that I miss California is in early April because planting season starts earlier there. Mid May has to suffice here, which only makes the expectation greater.

I started some cukes, zukes and tomatoes in my window a few weeks ago. Things were going well until critters attacked right there in the upstairs guestroom window. Little micro green worms went to town on my cucumbers. They hid under the leaves, then munched like jr high boys at Papa's Pizza. Despite my respect for life, I plucked them off by the dozens and disciplined them severely. They won't be back. But I'm not sure my prized plants will do well. They've lost valuable time and growth opportunity. I pinched off a few leaves and spoke kind words to them. We'll see what happens.

Jesus lived in a time when people were much more in touch with agrarian life and that background gave people a deeper understanding about what it means to rely upon God, and the slow process of growth. If they wanted a rutabaga, they'd have to wait til the right time of year (whenever that was) and maybe pay a visit to the family that grew rutabagas. We run to the store, and grab one instantly. Something good is lost with instant gratification.

In John 15 we're invited to get back in touch with a process of growth and finding our source of life in Christ. We'll study what "abiding," "pruning" and "fruit" mean - unless God takes us in a different direction.
- Curtis