Saturday, November 19, 2005
Bloomings In The Spirit
My wife, Cheryl, calls them "Christmas Cactus." I think we have a white one, too, but it wasn't around in the house when I was taking pictures today. Strange thing about these plants, they only seem to bloom a couple times every year. Neat colors, and not much of a problem to take care of, but they do make an impact on me. Some places where people keep them they refer to these cactus plants as "Easter Cactus, too! That's the thing that impresses me most about them. Like many people I know, they only bloom a few times a year, and then only for a very short while. Christmas and Easter are the times of the year when a lot of the "membership" comes to worship! Most of the year they are out there somewhere doing something, but during these two seasons they feel oddly compelled to visit the rest of us that are there every Sunday! I've only been at 1st B for a few years, but(Thank God)it isn't like some of the churches I've served. When the number of members is up in the hundreds the ranks in attendance twice a year swell greatly. I've never really understood this phenomena. Like the plant, we have these(may I call them "bloomers")who come to visit and are really quite offended if the pastor does not know them. One Sunday a lot of years ago when I was much younger I remember greeting "visitors" warmly during the announcement portion of the Sunday service only to find out later that they were members! I suppose I offended them a great deal! But I'm running in the wrong direction, again. You see, God doesn't have a score card. He is not keeping track of how often you get yourself up on Sunday and go to church(He really doesn't care what you wear when you come, either). What God cares about is us! So much so that He sent His only Son to make the ultimate sacrifice to redeem His people forever. God cares about us all the time, not just when we're sitting in a sanctuary pretending to be deeply(that isn't fair, I know a lot of folks really aren't sleeping)moved by all that is going on. Much of what we do on Sunday mornings is simply a reminder of God's care and provision for each of us. Like the cactus many of us may not bloom but a few times a year, it's up to the rest of us "buds" to be ready to share their colors and their beauty whenever they enter into our immediate surroundings. Tend them and fertilize as needed and pray that they are growing strong and healthy. I guess we're here to help one another grow, and in so doing, we grow, also! It's a beautiful thing to watch the blooms appear, I pray you are watching for them and enjoying them. Maybe they can be encouraged to share their beauty more often, but then, people aren't flowers. Or are they? My Bible does refer to my Savior as the "Rose of Sharon." Maybe there is a corralation here. In Christ's Love, Preacher.