Bearing Fruit

Backyard orange tree heavy with ripe fruit

After an uneventful flight yesterday I arrived in LA and drove to my hostesses’ home.  The scene above greeted me when I arrived!

My dear friend – and former boss – Bishop John Zuck – frequently talked about bearing fruit.  He was an avid gardener and always said, “I just love to watch things grow!”  He kept us in fresh fruit and vegetables during the summer months…pears, peaches, zucchini, cucumbers, berries.  We were very appreciative.

Bishop John was also anxious to see his churches bearing Fruit – making a positive difference in their communities and in the lives of their parishioners.  As a pastor of one of those churches -as well as his assistant – I was sometimes discouraged by the slow growth or even lack of fruit I was seeing.  But, as he did with all of the Pastors under his care, he encouraged me to keep tending to the field and trust G-d for the harvest.

Life has a rhythm.  When I left Fort Wayne everything was gray  the grass wasn’t green, leaves hadn’t come out yet – there certainly was fruit on the trees.  Should I be upset with my pear tree in Fort Wayne for not looking like Lucile’s orange tree in southern California at the end of March?!  No.  We shouldn’t expect that every different tree is going to bear fruit at the same time in different settings.  So long as we tend the trees diligently, however, we can have faith that the fruit will come in due season.

In our spiritual journey we need to tend the trees using a variety of spiritual disciplines including prayer and meditation, scripture reading and study, acts of service and kindness, worshiping and working, resting and renewing as well as sharing our faith -including our doubts – with others in honest, loving dialogue.  If we are diligent in these practices we need not be concerned that we don’t seem to be making a difference  – bearing Fruit – we simply need to wait upon G-d’s timing. Our season will come.

No riding today – visiting loved ones in LA.  Still waiting for my bike to arrive by FedEx.


Author: pastortoddhammond

I have been a parish minister nearly 30 years and have had the privilege of pastoring from Maine to California. I began serving the Agape Church of the Brethren in Fort Wayne, Indiana at the end of 2014.

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