Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Attractive Fruit

Reading the Word
You will know them by their fruits. Grapes are not gathered from thorn bushes, nor figs from thistles, are they? (Matthew 7:16)

Reflecting on the Word
If grapes weren't delicious people wouldn't eat them and the seeds would never be spread. Think about it. When we walk along a path, eating grapes, we spit out the seeds. All along beside the path these seeds will germinate and new vines will be born.
In the biology of the Christian faith, seeds are wrapped in attractive fruit. If a vine bore only naked seeds, nobody would pick them. Everyone who wants to be a disciple of Jesus Christ is expected to bear fruit. This does not mean that we all have to be successful in bringing many people to the point of decision to become a Christian. It means our lives have to bear the taste, the fragrance, or the nourishment that makes people appreciate what we are and what we have to give. The people we work with, the members of our family or Sunday school class, should sense the pleasure and benefit of being with us. They should know that the flavor of our life comes from our abiding in Jesus Christ.
One day something may trigger the beginning of new life in someone you know who has tasted the flavor of Jesus through contact with you. We may not ever know how or when it happens. But it will be the germination of a seed that was planted because your own personal life was delicious.
Paul Brand, The Forever Feast

Responding to the Word
We give thanks for the harvest of the heart's work;
Seeds of faith planted with faith;
Love nurtured by love;
Courage strengthened by courage.
We give thanks for the fruits of the struggling soul,
The bitter and the sweet;
For that which has grown in adversity
And for that which has flourished in warmth and grace;
For the radiance of the spirit in autumn
And for that which must now fade and die.
We are blessed and give thanks.
Michael Leunig, The Prayer Tree

No comments: