The Scripture Reading this week is Psalm 1.
The Sermon title is Drink Deep. Grow Strong, Bear Fruit.
Early Thoughts: Where are we planted? Which road do we choose?
Will we be in the group who "follow the counsel of the wicked" or will we be in the group that delight in the law of God?
Will we be blown away like so much chaff or will we be like trees sinking deep roots to find water?
There is an old song that comes to mind:
The problem is the image only works if we are planted/rooted in the right place. Maybe we sometimes need to be transplanted first? Are our roots searching for the water of life or anything that is wet and seems to serve the purpose? After all a tree will grow into your sewer line because it senses water there. But wouldn't we rather it find another source?
Within Judaism one of the greatest gifts God gave to the people was the Torah, the Law. While Law always includes limits that is a gift. Law gives a framework within we live. Law sets the field in which we can grow and thrive. As most parents (and most landscapers too) understand, setting limits is needed to control and direct growth. So it is with the Law. SO it is with God's wisdom.
But we tend to chafe at limits. We tend to uphold freedom as the greatest thing since canned beer, as if freedom and limits were mutually exclusive. We hold up Paul who seemed to claim that grace trumps law and therefore the law is in our way. (though this is not quite what Paul was trying to say)
God calls us to new life. God calls us to be God's people. God calls us to live in a particular way. Yes we are free. Yes we can choose. But we are free to choose to follow the Way, and with that choice means setting limits (or accepting limits). The tree is not free to wander around testing different streams.
This week the United Church of Canada turns 90. Our anniversary comes at a time when we are pondering (or just plain worrying about) our future. I suggest that we as congregations and as a denomination may need to ask if our roots are searching for the living water. I suggest we need to wonder if we have cut the roots off from that source.
Are we ready to delight in the limits of God's freedom? Are we ready to soak in the Living Water so that we would grow strong (which may not mean big or fast) and bear fruit in our own season?