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Pastor's Pen

June 2015 Pastor's Pen

A Time To Grow
 
It is time to grow. It is time to grow things: corn, beans, vegetables, flowers. It is time to grow your church. A place to start is with your own spiritual growth. During the next several months we will be listening to the teachings of Jesus. Well, at least we will be reading the teachings of Jesus in our weekly readings at worship in church. Whether or not we are listening is another matter. The things that he has to teach contribute to our spiritual growth. There is nothing like them.
 
This is Christian “yoga”. That’s right, when Jesus says: “My yoke is easy…” He means his yoga. It is the same word. His “yoke” is the spiritual discipline that he asks of you. I suspect that Jesus made some ox yokes as a carpenter. They are made so that they fit nicely on the shoulders of an ox so it can pull a load with the greatest ease and the least discomfort. You get an idea what he is saying.
 
To take Christ’s yoke upon you, his yoga, is to make a commitment. Commitments are yokes that make things easier to do. It is our commitments that carry us through when our feelings are ambivalent. This is why it is better, I think, to act out of commitment and obligation, rather than out of one’s feelings at the moment.
 

This is why you should simply commit yourself to regular worship so you can be exposed to the teaching of Jesus. If you get wishy-washy about it, you are likely to not follow through.  

Speaking of growth, God is really not a good gardener. God does not carefully and scientifically plant seeds like our farmers do. God scatters seeds everywhere. It doesn’t matter what kind of soil there is. It can be rocky, weedy, exhausted, or good (whatever that is). It doesn’t seem to matter to God. God keeps skipping along sowing the seeds of love wherever God feels like it. God does the same with the sun and rain that makes things grow. God seems to have an unshakable commitment to every human being. We should follow God's lead and be completely wild and far reaching in sharing God’s love.
 
When you buy a package of seeds at the store, it often comes with a picture of the plant on the package. Of course, the seeds don’t look anything like the plant, but somewhere inside them is a code that soil and sun and showers unlock, causing a plant to grow and bear fruit or flowers or maybe both. For us, Christ is the picture on the packet. We are the seeds. We pray that we might grow, as Saint Paul says: “into the fullness of the stature of Christ.”
 
With the Greatest of Hope!
Erik


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