Bearing the Fruit of Resurrection

It's Spring and the trees are beginning to bud and bloom. Flowers are popping up and new plantings are taking root. That which was dormant during the winter months has been reinvigorated. It's time once again to celebrate the resurrection of Jesus Christ and the rebirth of creation.

Our theme during Lent, "Tree of Life," is a reference to God's living Word in Jesus Christ, who our world put to death on a cross and hung on the wood of a tree. From this cross our salvation is won, and the Apostle Paul proclaims it as the beginning of a new creation. With this in mind, I have been noticing the trees around us in a new way. I have been reacquainting myself with the kinds of trees in our area and trying to learn their respective names and characteristics. I have gained an overall new appreciation for the life around us. This has been an unexpected addition to my Lenten journey and the disciplines of Lent.

I am also cognizant that one of the products of trees is the fruit they bear. Jesus has a lot to say about bearing fruit for God's realm. Bearing fruit is something that is a byproduct of who we are as Christians and followers of Jesus. Jesus uses the analogy for his disciples of bearing fruit for God's reign in our lives and in the world. This fruit is a part of living in Jesus:" I am the vine, you are the branches. Those who abide in me and I in them bear much fruit, . . ." (John 15:5)

Soon Spring will give way to Summer and we will watch as the trees begin developing their respective fruit. This fruit is not merely for the tree, but will feed a host of other creatures whether in the form of the flesh around the kernel or the seed itself. We too bear fruit not just for ourselves, but for others. Jesus puts it this way: " You did not choose me but I chose you. And I appointed you to go and bear fruit, fruit that will last, . . ." (John 15:16)

The fruit that we bear for God in Jesus Christ is from the Tree of Life for the sake of the world. Indeed, it is resurrection fruit and carries with it the full power and promise of God's new creation won through the resurrection of Jesus Christ.

May our celebration of Easter joy be the beginning of a fruitful harvest for the sake of the world.

Easter blessings to all!

Pastor Steve

Discipleship

Encourage-Oneanother

Christianity without discipleship is always Christianity without Christ.

Just as love of God begins with listening to his word, so the beginning of love for our brothers and sisters is learning to listen to them.
―  (Dietrich Bonhoeffer: Life Together)

We Are Becoming

This life is not devoutness, but becoming devout;

not health, but becoming healthy;
not being, but becoming, and
not resting, but doing.

We are not yet what we should be, but we are becoming what we should be.

Martin Luther, Meditation on Philippians 3:13

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