Posts Tagged ‘fruit’

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A walk in the trees – grace and the law

May 9, 2013

This morning I took a walk in the local woods.

forest1I was thinking as I walked along in the middle of a commercial, managed forest.

At a distance the woodland looked lush and green – but as I moved into the trees there was a different story.

I saw trees densely packed either side of the hard-packed logging road.  Imported species of trees, packed ‘efficiently’ together so that little or no natural light made it down to ground level.  In places great trees had fallen as their roots had little to grow in.  The pale gray soil devoid of health.

Where trees were harvested the ground looked like it was ruined, raped, shredded. Dead.

There was no life… it was a desert.  I couldn’t wait to get away.

I crossed under a railway line into a different woodland.

This place was chaos – differing varieties of indigenous, deciduous trees spread their arms to the heavens… grass and wild flowers grew in the dappled light.

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The air smelt of buds, and flowers, and new growth.  Old trees seeming to gather round new shoots encouraging them to grow, to reach, to be.  Red winged butterflies, danced around. And where the ground was open, there was deep dark soil. Full of the potential for life.

The sound of bird-song was deafening.

Here – here I could have spent the rest of the day. Just being.

Selah.

At present I’m pondering about the law and grace… and something about my walk today made me think more about it.

I reflected on a passage from Matthew 19…

3 Some Pharisees came and tried to trap him with this question: “Should a man be allowed to divorce his wife for just any reason?”

4 “Haven’t you read the Scriptures?” Jesus replied. “They record that from the beginning ‘God made them male and female.’” 5 And he said, “‘This explains why a man leaves his father and mother and is joined to his wife, and the two are united into one.’ 6 Since they are no longer two but one, let no one split apart what God has joined together.”

7 “Then why did Moses say in the law that a man could give his wife a written notice of divorce and send her away?” they asked.

8 Jesus replied, “Moses permitted divorce only as a concession to your hard hearts, but it was not what God had originally intended”.

Now while this passage is a response specifically to a question about divorce – it’s not simply that subject that Jesus response speaks to me.

Could it be read this way?…

The “law of Moses”, is a concession to your hard hearts – it is not what God had originally intended.

Under the law we have structured, managed, rules – right or wrong… things man can do to be efficient… Jesus called those who lived by the law whitened graves… like the managed forest… dead.  The fruit of the commercial forest is only the trees themselves.

What ‘Law’ does Jesus say we should follow… “love the lord your God with all your heart, mind soul and spirit. And Love your neighbour as yourself”… this is what God originally intended.  Grace…

The natural forest I was in today had an abundance of life… little structure to it, chaotic… but rich and fertile.  It’s fruit was colourful, wild and varied.

When we live into the calling to Love God, Love one-another… we are living as God intended, in that place of Grace.  It’s a fruitful, colourful, wild and chaotic place… but you’ll want to stay.

 

 

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Lectio – John 15:5-17

November 9, 2012

 

It has been some time since I last posted a passage to this blog for Lectio Divina.

I wanted to share this passage with you – On Saturday 22nd September I had the privilege of leading a time of Lectio Divina at a workshop on Prayer at Hilton Church of Scotland, and it was this passage that we focused on.  Ever since this event the passage has been waiting on my desk for me to share it with you… so read and be blessed…

“Yes, I am the vine; you are the branches. Those who remain in me, and I in them, will produce much fruit. For apart from me you can do nothing.Anyone who does not remain in me is thrown away like a useless branch and withers. Such branches are gathered into a pile to be burned. But if you remain in me and my words remain in you, you may ask for anything you want, and it will be granted! When you produce much fruit, you are my true disciples. This brings great glory to my Father.

“I have loved you even as the Father has loved me. Remain in my love.10 When you obey my commandments, you remain in my love, just as I obey my Father’s commandments and remain in his love. 11 I have told you these things so that you will be filled with my joy. Yes, your joy will overflow! 12 This is my commandment: Love each other in the same way I have loved you. 13 There is no greater love than to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. 14 You are my friends if you do what I command. 15 I no longer call you slaves, because a master doesn’t confide in his slaves. Now you are my friends, since I have told you everything the Father told me.16 You didn’t choose me. I chose you. I appointed you to go and produce lasting fruit, so that the Father will give you whatever you ask for, using my name. 17 This is my command: Love each other.

(NLT)