Connecting this fall

apple-treesAs a parting gift, one congregation gave their pastor two apple trees. The gift seemed a bit odd until he was told that apple trees needed at least two trees to pollinate effectively.

Apple trees need to be in relationship to other apple trees to thrive and bear fruit and of course they need bees to assist in carrying the pollen.

Christians are are also cross-pollinators because God has made us that way. It is essential for us to be in close relationship with other believers so that the Holy Spirit, like a bee helping us pollinate, can encourage faith and grow the fruits of the Spirit within each other.

This is why the author to the Hebrews (10:25) reminded his people to not give up meeting together on a regular basis.

Worship and Bible studies are the church’s means of cross-pollination. It is within these settings that the Holy Spirit stirs us to faith and godly works.

Another form of cross-pollination is for couples and families to worship and read the Scriptures at home. Through family prayer, devotions and Bible reading faith development is stirred and promoted. Many of us do not have these habits, but they can be developed.

Or if you live alone or have a spouse who is not a Christian you can plug into a healthy small group in your church where Bible study, prayer and intentional accountability play an important role. Or  you could even find a good friend or two from church and begin a small group yourself.

God did not save us through Christ Jesus to live our Christian life in isolation. God has provided others, albeit imperfect others, to help us grow in spiritual maturity. Through Word and Sacrament the Holy Spirit grows our faith and increases our impulse to serve others.

So as we come back together this fall you are invited to connect with other believers in our congregation so that the Holy Spirit can help you and others cross-pollinate and grow into the fullness of life under the cross of Christ.

– Adapted from Connections for Evangelical Lutheran Christians (July – August 2015, p.2)