It is time for a gripe session! And today’s topic? Forsythia.
Now I know that many of you have absolutely no idea why I would gripe about this beautiful, bright yellow harbinger of spring. Well, please let me share with you!
I can’t say that I completely dislike this shrub of particularly indomitable strength. Its color is quite the pick-me-up after the winter doldrums! We have a large number of these bushes along our property lines to provide an element of privacy.
Plant care specialists will tell you that in order to keep the plant from growing too unruly, the oldest stems should be cut down to the ground. I have tried to work on this once the flowers are gone and the leaves are out, but I can’t really see what I’m doing! So I began my wrestling session Monday.
Since the stems grow this way and that, stems from neighboring bushes quickly become a jumbled, interlocking mess. You would think that if you cut a stem to the ground, you would just be able to haul all of it straight out to the stick pile, right? Nope.
Not only do the branches get locked together, those that hang down and touch the ground just may decide to take root! So there I was, wrestling to get the branches out of the top of the bushes and roots from the ground. I just wasn’t strong enough to do it without extra lopping here and there, breaking down the branches into smaller pieces that could then be extricated from the jumbles and rooted branches. Even then I got a great workout!
At one point I cut a stem at the base, and didn’t want to walk all the way around the row to get to the other side to pull it out. I decided that I would just force my way through between two bushes. I can only imagine what the drivers in the road thought of this strange lady wrestling her way through to get out! I’m sure it was entertaining, to say the least!
But my wrestling match got me to thinking. Shouldn’t the church be interlocked together in community to the point that the individual isn’t easily taken out?
That isn’t a question meant for us to use to judge our church, but instead to judge ourselves. We are the church.
- How are we investing in building up the community of believers?
- What are we doing to build relationships with one another, encouraging one another and building each other up (1 Thessalonians 5:11)?
Relationship and mutual support come with a price tag. We must be willing to make sacrifices in the areas of personal comfort, time and resources. We can’t remain insulated in our own homes, satisfied to scroll through social media and listening to podcasts. We need to be spending time with one another, face-to-face or side-by-side, accomplishing the church’s mission to reach the world with the love of Christ!
The stronger our relationships with one another, the harder it will be for the enemy of ours souls to separate any of us from the body of believers.
Now go out there, my friend, and share the joy you’ve been given!
May God, who gives this patience and encouragement, help you live in complete harmony with each other, as is fitting for followers of Christ Jesus. Then all of you can join together with one voice, giving praise and glory to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.
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