We have an area where five trees are grouped together. Two were planted five years ago when we moved into the house. Today one of those trees, a maple, is the tallest in the yard. The other is a spruce, its growth has been slow and steady, but regardless of the season, it never loses it beautiful green color. Between those two trees sets another tree we just added a couple of years ago, a birch. When it was planted it was half the size of the maple but in just two years it has nearly caught it in height. To the left of those three trees sets yet another. It’s the newest of the trees, an ash, not nearly as impressive as the others right now but some day if it survives the seasons it will be the tallest tree in the yard. In front of it says the fifth and final tree. It is one of the oldest but the shortest of all the trees, a cherry tree. Today none of the trees look very impressive, four of them appear to be dead and the spruce has lost its shine, but don’t be deceived, they are very much alive, its just all the growth is happening under ground. In a few weeks they will explode with life! Colors will explode, new branches will appear and some will even have flowers blooming and produce. Though they differ in variety, mature differently, have varying shapes, size and color we call them all trees.
In the Epistles, Paul refers to those who have been baptized in the water and with His
Spirit as saints. We sometimes expect every saint to look the same, mature at the same rate and act the same way. How foolish, we don’t expect that of a tree or even our children, but somehow we’ve come to expect it out of people in a church. Paul simply called us saints, people in the process of becoming what God has called them. What makes our yard beautiful in the spring and fall is the variety of colors, leaves and varying sizes of each tree. What makes a church beautiful is when we come to an understanding that we are all saints, some growing faster than others, mixed together old and new, some that look better than others at times but when we are all together and appreciate one another it makes for a great place group to be a part of. Turn off the judgment and critical assessments of one another and appreciate how God has created each of us. And if I’ve got it figured out at all, God plans on adding more variety to Life Connections! So be who you are and enjoy those he put around you.