Easter — The Greatest Example of Fruitful Living
Jesus said, The hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified. I tell you the truth, unless a kernel of wheat falls into the ground and dies, it remains only a single seed. But if it dies, it produces many seeds. John 12:23-24
My heart is so full. Though the past year since last Easter has been a tumultuous one, it has also been one of great blessing. And I am so thankful for the new life that is moving in our church. It is a sign of the Resurrection!
This year’s Lenten season has been marked by a tremendous response to consider how we can be more fruitful. Nearly 150 in our congregation have been a part of small groups (and a number of others have participated individually) sharing in considering the Five Practices of Fruitful Living written by Bishop Robert Schnase. He’s offered us outstanding insight into how we can be more fruitful – individually, in our families, and in our Church.
I thought one of his wonderfully simple insights was how these practices are things we can do to keep our faith alive and well. They are not things we do for a while and then move on to something else. No, they are keys to our being able to stay “at the top of our game”. Like baseball players who as Little Leaguers learn the game by taking batting practice, scooping up grounders, catching pop flies, etc. … and then if you go to see them when they’ve become Major Leaguers, guess what they do … they take batting practice, scoop up grounders, catch pop flies, etc., etc., etc. Great players know that if they ever forget to practice, then they will not stay great.
But the essential value of faithful practice is not limited to sports. Concert musician Ignacy Paderewski tells about how he continues to practice every day, even after years of focused learning. “If I miss one day of practice,” he says, “I notice it. If I miss two days the critics notice it. If I miss three days, the audience notices it.”
Likewise if we neglect our feeding of the spirit for a few days, we can sense the difference. Something just feels missing and unsettled. Avoid it for several days and our family notices. Neglect the spiritual life for too long, and even those who know us from a distance – neighbors and co-workers – begin to notice. So let’s keep on practicing so that others can experience the reality and power of the Resurrection through our … RADICAL HOSPITALITY – PASSIONATE WORSHIP – INTENTIONAL FAITH DEVELOPMENT – RISK-TAKING MISSION & SERVICE – EXTRAVAGANT GENEROSITY – all these will help to show others that HE IS RISEN ! HE IS RISEN INDEED !