This evening’s reading is written by Kaji Daousa entitled “Still Life Goes On.”   Rev. Dausa is the Senior Pastor of The Park Avenue Christian Church in New York City

Crouched over the vines, we looked for red. Scanning rows of strawberries, the lesson was not to pick too soon. There’s a moment in the ripeness of fresh fruit, and at the right time, we do well to pluck. As a little one, close to the ground, I fished hungrily through the leaves.

But after a while, I grew weary, and at some point I switched from plucking to collecting. Sitting in the center of the row, arms out, I’d await everyone else’s deposits to my basket, with the thrill of wonder to see what they would share “Bear fruit,” the Apostle Paul wrote. Our actions do this bearing of fruit. In all that we do, we hold a basket of fruit into which we and the others around us make an offering.

At the end of the day, we take stock, we check the yield. Our assessment isn’t neutral; we need what we bear. It is the spiritual food off of which we survive. With good fruit, we know exactly what to do. We are thankful. We eat lustily and are strengthened for the journey. But what do we do with the fruit that disappoints?
Like the friend we desperately need who just … vanishes. Or the confidante who pushes advice we neither need nor want. Worse still, the one who betrays us. This is all indigestible fruit.

“Bear fruit in every good work,” Paul said. But not all works are good. Not all people are prepared to hand us the fruit we want or need at the moment. Pray. Look in your basket. See the fruit of God’s people. With God’s grace, know what to do with each piece.

Scripture Reading: Colossians 1:9-10
For this reason, since the day we heard it, we have not ceased praying for you and asking that you may be filled with the knowledge of God’s will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding, so that you may lead lives worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing to him, as you bear fruit in every good work and as you grow in the knowledge of God. 

Reflection Questions:
What gifts do you offer?
How do you lead a worthy life?
Who in your life does good work?

Prayer: Holy God, in these difficult and trying days where there is so much disease and dis-ease, let me please you by bearing good fruit and leading a worthy life. Amen.

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