Are You Bearing Fruit?
by Ryan Duncan
"No one lights a lamp and hides it in a jar or puts it under a bed. Instead, he puts it on a stand, so that those who come in can see the light.” – Luke 8:16
One of the traditions my family had while I was growing up was that every fall we would go apple picking at a place called Edwards Orchard. It was a great place. There were barn animals for kids to feed, a maze that my siblings and I would always cheat to win, and a small kitchen that made the best apple doughnuts on this continent. Once we had exhausted ourselves on all the activities and eaten enough doughnuts to last us for days, our parents would load us up on the orchard's wagons, and we would go into the trees to pick apples.
Afterwards, we'd enjoy a long stretch of apple-related meals at home, and I was particularly fond of my mother’s upside-down apple pie. Then one year, as we clambered out of our van like usual, we were met by an employee who informed us the orchard had closed that season. I don’t remember exactly why -- I think a storm had damaged most of the trees -- but the absence of our usual Macintosh apples was pretty noticeable the following week. This was the memory that jumped to my mind a few days ago, as I was reading the book of Luke. Take a look at the following verses,
And he told this parable: "A man had a fig tree planted in his vineyard, and he came seeking fruit on it and found none. And he said to the vinedresser, 'Look, for three years now I have come seeking fruit on this fig tree, and I find none. Cut it down. Why should it use up the ground?' And he answered him, 'Sir, let it alone this year also, until I dig around it and put on manure. Then if it should bear fruit next year, well and good; but if not, you can cut it down.'" – Luke 13:6-9
The simple truth is that there is not much use in a fruit tree that doesn’t grow fruit, just like there isn’t much use in a Christian that isn’t living out Christ’s teachings. God made us, the Church, to be people of growth and action. It is his desire that we constantly seek to mature in our faith, and the way we do that is by getting involved in the world around us. It doesn’t have to be anything big. Become a greeter at your Church, make a small donation, or bring a meal to the couple that just had a baby. All that matters is if your heart is providing a harvest for God because you never know what he’ll do with the spiritual fruit you create.
Intersecting Faith and Life: Find your own way to serve Christ’s Kingdom, no matter how small.