Autumn is the time of mists and mellow fruitfulness. It is a time of harvest and cropping. It is also the precursor to preparing for winter. After the harvest, comes the shedding of leaves and plants returning to their basic condition.
This made me think about our lives in Jesus Christ. Have we had a harvest in our lives? Has each of us shown the ripe fruits of Jesus Christ to everyone we meet? Have we been laden with the fruits of the Spirit, to attract people to Jesus, as creatures are drawn to the fruit trees and plants? This is a wonderful time of year to share Jesus with people. (As well as the rest of the year.)
Also, at this time of year, nature is preparing for the onset of winter, and plants and trees are shedding leaves and retreating back into bulbs, so they can survive the winter. Are we as Christians doing the same? Have we parts of our personal lives and church lives cluttered up, so that we need to get rid of things? Do we allow Jesus, the gardener, to prune our lives?
In our garden, we have a clematis climber that would not flower. It was 9 feet tall. A gardener asked if we ever pruned it. I said “No.” and he said: “Take it back to 10 inches tall”. Well, very scared, I did as he told me. The next year we had an abundance of flowers.
I know that, within my own life, there are areas that I have to look at and see if I really need that. Perhaps I have got into a rut of routine and not realized it. Maybe there are things that I do or see as important, but now I know that I have to let it go. Is Jesus asking me to look at fresh areas of development and ministry, but I cannot do that, until I have shed this?
I think of the hermit crab who, every so often, has to get rid of its shell and find a different one, so it can grow. Do we need to do this?
As an individual, church and circuit, we can become overladen with familiarities, comfortableness, and security. We need to have a dropping off of our personal, church and circuit clutter and see where Jesus wants us to be.
Jesus stripped himself of everything to save us. By this, he allowed the faith of people and the Church to grow.
I realise that all this is scary, as it means we have to let go of areas in our lives or attitudes, but we need to do this to grow.
We also have, in our garden, a Comus (that’s posh) often known as a Dogwood. In summer, it is a green, leafy bush. In winter, it drops its leaves and the stalks become a vivid scarlet. What a transformation!
I pray that each of us in Bradford North will allow Jesus to transform us into something new and glorious for Him.
Bless you all