:: Tuesday, December 07, 2004 ::
Of Apples and Bananas: Or, A Window Into My Soul
This Sunday's readings and sermon really caused some things to come into sharp focus for me.
First, there was the sermon, focsuing on Matthew 3:1 - 12, where the question arose, "what kind of fruit are you producing?" The notion is that we are all trees, and we all produce fruit. We produce all different kinds of fruit. Whatever the case, we produce fruit consistent with the kind and quality of tree we are.
This got me to thinking, "what kind of fruit am I producing? What does my life look like on a daily basis? What do I do?" And I realized that there's a lot of bad fruit growing on me right now. Fruit based on fear. Fruit based on need for control. Fruit based on boundaries all out-of-bounds. Fruit coming from fear of rejection. Fruit of self-image issues, fruit of little faith in God.
So Sunday I resolved to make a change. Resolved to allow the pruning of the branches that do that. Resolved to make an effort to feed the branches that produce good fruit. Fruit like generosity. Fruit like mentoring. Fruit like development of Christian community. Fruit like living missionally in the world. Fruit like prayer. Fruit like encouragement. Fruit like humor. Most of all, fruit like hope. Like faith. Like love. Hmmm... that sounds familiar. Faith, hope and love: those seem to be the antithesis of fear, anxiety, bad self-image and bad boundaries.
Second, there was the text from Isaiah 11:1 - 10. This passage embodies the Advent message of hope. That tree that was chopped down - look, something's coming up out of it. And that new branch, that new tree, coming up from the roots of the old one - it will set about the process of making everything right. Those who have been victimized will be restored. Those who have done evil will be destroyed. And after that, creation will be brought to a new level of wonder, where no one lives to the disadvantage of the other.
And all of this has allowed a level of peace to come to me that I have not experienced in months. This reminder that all is well, all will be well could not be more timely. In him we have put our hope. And so in him I stand.
:: Matt 12/07/2004 11:45:00 AM :: permalink ::