Friday, June 18, 2010

Cherries and preaching.

After a long day at work, I came home, cooked dinner and cleared up. It was about 9pm and I decided to go and water the plants in the garden. The evening air was refreshingly cool and I noticed that the little cherry tree in the corner of my garden was laden with ripe fruit.

It gave me a great sense of satisfaction as I grabbed a pot and filled it full  with freshly picked cherries. All I had done was planted the tree two years ago, occasionally watering it, and lo and behold there were branches full of fruit!

After preaching last Sunday I was feeling a little downcast. I had studied Ezekiel chapters 40-48 for weeks and had worked extremely hard to make head and tail of it. I preached for about 53 minutes (far too long) and was exhausted at the end of it. I found it hard to preach and I think people found it hard to listen to.

In the past few days I have been studying John's account of Jesus feeding the 5000 with five small loaves and two fish. As I was reading a commentary on this passage it developed the thought that God can take our small abilities, efforts and gifts and use them to feed the multitude. I found this to be a great encouragement – and one that was reflected in the bountiful harvest of cherries. I did what I could to enable the tree to grow, but God made it grow and produce ripe abundant fruit. Praise God, it's all down to Him!

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