Jesus uses many different images to describe the kind of life that he wants for his followers. Some of the most frequently repeated images are of growing things: crops ready for harvest, vines and fruit trees filled with good fruit. But Jesus isn’t saying that he wants all his followers to get into farming. His point is that he wants and expects his followers to grow, to grow spiritually and to grow in their capacity to love God and to love their neighbor.
There is also a lot of talk of building found in the teachings of Jesus and his first followers, the Apostles. But again, the point isn’t that Jesus’ followers are all meant to get into construction. Jesus is focused on a different kind of building. His focus is on building up his followers and friends into a community that makes God’s presence and his goodness known in the world.
The point is that being a Christian and being part of the Church was never meant to be stationary or static. It’s meant to be full of growth and signs of God’s creativity and purpose as he builds up the community of his people. It’s God who gives the growth and it’s Jesus who builds his Church, but if we’re not engaged in what God is doing we’ll miss out on the personal growth and the growth of our community that God wants for us.
We are going to dedicate the next seven Sundays to looking at 7 Steps we can take to ensure that we are actively engaged in the growing and building that God wants for each of us and for our community. We begin this week by looking at Jesus’ words to his followers in Matthew 18:1-7 and by considering the growing and building that God makes possible in our lives when we welcome even just one child in Jesus’ name.
See you Sunday!
Rev. David Turner