In the midst of winter, we often think of the world as dead. Even as the days grow longer, still the snow and ice remain. Yet underneath it all the earth is preparing for spring. Farmers need cold weather for the apple trees to reset to bloom again in the spring. And I am hopeful for apples! Where winter is warm there are no apple trees.
I think about what is happening inside of us and that God is not done with us or the church just yet. Even though with all the headlines in the news it seems that we might be in winter/death/darkness. Still I am hopeful.
Christ came and lit up the world. Christ came and fulfilled all prophecy. Christ came and taught a different way of being; a way to look out for each other, a way to be in community, a way to welcome outsiders and bring them into God’s family, a way to love.
In the Wesley Study Bible, the following Life Application Topic on A Fruitful Life says, “There are many who testify to a “before and after” in their lives. God’s grace chased them until their lives blossomed with peace, justice, hope, caring, and humility. In Jesus’ story of the fig tree (Luke 13.6-9), the gardener offers to put fertilizer around the barren tree. Growth comes because the gardener works at it. Wesley believed that God finds ways to nurture and mature us into the fullness of love. These means of grace (such as prayer, worship and acts of mercy) become ways by which God nourishes us toward fruitful living: full love of God and full love of neighbor.”
Things to ponder over the winter and pondering along with prayer may reveal some amazing things this spring. Let’s pray that God shows us Gods’ plan for us as individuals, as a church, and as a community. Let’s pray for God to show us our part in bringing that plan into fruition.
Peace, Blessings, and Joy (PB&J).
Finding Faith is written by area pastors. This week’s column comes from Pastor Laura King of McElhattan United Methodist Church.