Friday, August 29, 2008

Dead wood

Today’s Reading: John 15:6 (NIV)

6 [Jesus said,] “If anyone does not remain in me, he is like a branch that is thrown away and withers; such branches are picked up, thrown into the fire and burned.

Good morning!

Fall is my favorite season of the year. I enjoy the cooler temperatures, when leaves begin to turn on the trees and the overgrowth of flowering chrysanthemums flourish in garden beds. In the fall, trees begin to move toward sleepy hibernation, and the dead branches begin to break, falling to the ground. When you walk through the woods in the fall, you can feel the crackling of dry leaves and loose branches breaking underneath the weight of your feet. Only the branches that remain firmly rooted in the trunk of the tree survive the coldest blast of winter. And in the springtime, when all things are made new again, the branches begin to burst forth in buds, with flowers and colorful new foliage - it is a sign of new life.

One of my favorite fall activities is to visit the pumpkin patch, enjoy a hayride on the back of a tractor trailer, and roast marshmallows and hot dogs around a campfire. The dead wood crackles and burns brightly in the cool evening air, giving off the unmistakable scent that fall has truly arrived. It seems the only good thing about a piece of dead wood is its ability to burn to mere ash when thrown into the flame. It will never grow again, or bear the flowering beauty given by the Master Creator.

Is your heart splintering away like dead branches falling from the tree? Are you struggling to stay connected to the life-vine? Jesus said that when we choose not to stay connected to Him, we begin wither and eventually dry up, becoming good for nothing except to light up the sky in a holy fire. Fortunately, we have a Savior who hears our cries for help. If you ask Him, Jesus will reinvigorate your dry and brittle bones with His love. Come home; root yourself today in the Word of God. He will save you and keep you to everlasting life, in the place where you will never die.

Grace and peace,

Deb Spaulding

Faith UMC - St. Charles, MO


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