From Roots to Fruit

TLLC Ministry Tree isolated

Sometimes when I think back on this past year I get discouraged, thinking about all of the neglected time, lack of opportunities, and missed ministry due to the pandemic. I wonder if our roots grew deep, new branches sprouted, or fruits grew ripe for the picking. But then I heard the Gospel for this Sunday – the Parables of the Gardener and the Mustard Seed – and I remember that the growth isn’t always up to us.

The mustard seed becomes a great shrub that shelters the birds, recalling ancient images of the tree of life. We’d expect a cedar or a sequoia, but Jesus finds the power of God better imaged in a tiny, no-account seed. It’s not the way we expect divine activity to look. Yet the tree of life is here, in the cross around which we gather, the tree into which we are grafted through baptism, the true vine that nourishes us with its fruit in the cup we share. It may not appear all that impressive, it may look vastly different than it did last year – worship in a parking lot or a hall instead of a sanctuary, masked ministers, communion shared in front of a screen at home…

2020 Year In Review

but while nobody’s looking the kingdom still grows with a power beyond our understanding and usually beyond our control!

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