We spent the month of August carefully listening to Jesus’ “Parable of the Sower” in Sunday worship. It’s clear that God has planted a garden of people and cultivated the conditions necessary for creating life. God sprinkles the seed of the Gospel everywhere with this goal: to produce the fruit of his Kingdom on planet earth through us.
Here are the two big questions that Jesus’ word begs us to ask and respond to:
- What does spiritual fruit look like in 2020?
- Are you producing the fruit of the Kingdom through your life?
In anticipation of the upcoming fall fruit season (apples!), I’m suggesting five responses to the first question in the form of an acronym (fav method of preachers everywhere) that uses the word FRUIT.
F-Find your rhythm. This coming Sunday marks the 26th weekend since we’ve been able to worship together in our sanctuary. Many of us have been able to keep our worshiping rhythm with the help of LiveStream and various online tools. Others have lost the groove and need to recover a regular way to experience the gift of the Sabbath and a God-centered Sunday. We cannot produce spiritual fruit if we’re disconnected from the vine. Step one in fruit bearing is to have a regular infusion of life come your way from God and God’s people. If you’ve lost the Sabbath rhythm, don’t despair. This is the perfect season to start again.
R-Rally our young people and kids. Our kids are especially to prone to feelings of loneliness and disconnection as their routines have been so profoundly disrupted. We’d love to serve your family by sharing both social and spiritual life with your kids. High-school and middle-school youth groups will be gathering on Sundays. Wednesday night ministries are about to launch for elementary school kids. Little Lambs is coming back this fall with both an in-person and a virtual option.
U-Unite with a Life Group. In a church the size of Elmhurst CRC, it’s necessary even in the best of times to experience spiritual life in smaller, more personal and intimate settings. If you are in a group and have gotten out of the habit of meeting together, now is the time to reload and recommit to one another. If you have never been part of a Life Group, we would love to offer you some options to plug in. Feel free to email me or Pastor Jeff directly!
I-Intercede for your church, aka pray! I’m not ashamed to admit that the leadership challenges of 2020 are beyond my pastoral skills to manage. 2020 has brought all kids of God-sized problems to the surface of our lives, and I’m confident that God alone can and will provide God-sized answers. Please ask the Holy Spirit to fill our community with endurance, creativity and plenty of common sense.
T-Try serving. Last Sunday was an amazing day of service: first, a worship service and then good, old-fashioned get-your-hands-dirty service. I had the pleasure of offering boxes of food to families and also offering to pray alongside those who were willing to receive spiritual support along with physical support. The church is best when we are simply helping and serving in the name and manner of Jesus. I was so proud to be a member of ECRC!
As delightful as picking some honey-crisp apples will soon be, these five fruits are the best of the season. By God’s grace and with some human cooperation, I’m eager to see what will grow!
May God provide all you need for a beautiful, spiritual fall season.
1 Corinthians 3:7 Neither the one who plants or waters is anything, but only God who makes things grow!