Devotion - June 26

Psalms 126-130, Proverbs 26, John 12:23-25, Galatians 5:22-26

I wonder how fruitful you feel during this Coronavirus? I still find I get to the end of the day and wonder where it has gone...

Today we are on the final seed/soil combo in the parable of the sower -- fruitful harvest! So it is worth remembering what Jesus says about the fruitful life:

Very truly I tell you, unless a kernel of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains only a single seed. But if it dies, it produces many seeds. (John 12:24)

Whenever I'm tempted to measure life on success and strength, I return to these words by Henri Nouwen on fruitfulness in the Christian life:

“We are called to be fruitful – not successful, not productive, not accomplished. Success comes from strength, stress and human effort. Fruitfulness comes from vulnerability and the admission of our own weakness… There is a great difference between successfulness and fruitfulness. Success comes from strength, control, and respectability. A successful person has the energy to create something, to keep control over its development, and to make it available in large quantities. Success brings many rewards and often fame. Fruits, however, come from weakness and vulnerability. And fruits are unique. A child is the fruit conceived in vulnerability, community is the fruit born through shared brokenness, and intimacy is the fruit that grows through touching one another's wounds. Let's remind one another that what brings us true joy is not successfulness but fruitfulness.”

Concluding this week's reflections, let's pray for two things -- the courage to follow Jesus in weakness and vulnerability, and the flourishing of Jesus' kingdom in our lives for the sake of others.

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