Today’s readings (click below to open in new tab/window):
Psalms 84; 148, 2 Kings 19:1-20, 1 Corinthians 9:16-27, Matthew 8:1-17
The surviving remnant of the house of Judah shall
again take root downward,and bear fruit upward.
– 2 Kings 19:3
How deep are your spiritual roots? Deep enough to keep you healthy during times of spiritual drought? Whether your answer is “Yes”, “No” or “Good question…” you can always deepen them. One good way is to set aside time for regular spiritual practices. As with anything, the time you dedicate to spiritual practice will improve the results. A neglected garden is soon choked out by weeds and devoured by pests, and a neglected spiritual life is soon choked out and devoured by the demands and distractions of daily life. When we attempt to pluck fruit from either of them, we will very likely be disappointed.
But what does spiritual practice look like? And what if you don’t like gardening? Approaches to spiritual practices can range from the Biblical classics of prayer, meditation, and fasting to hiking, music, journaling and – yes – even gardening. A spiritual practice is anything that puts in your touch with your connection to the holy. Regular, intentional practices help our spiritual roots grow deeper and prepare us to better weather hard times and celebrate joyous ones. Find a practice that speaks to you, rather than trying to conform to one someone else prescribes, and it will be easier to maintain.
How high are your spiritual fruits? Probably about as high as your roots are deep. If you aren’t sure what gifts you have to share, spend some time discovering what feeds your roots. Chances are your gifts are closely related. And don’t waste time comparing them to other people’s gifts: it would be pretty foolish of a Granny Smith to spend time regretting it wasn’t a watermelon. Different plants thrive under different soil conditions and varying amounts of water and sunlight. People’s spirits are no less diverse. Your unique gifts are part of a well-balanced spiritual diet for the world. Feed your roots well, and you won’t be able to help producing fruits for all to share!
Comfort: Your gifts are meant to be shared…
Challenge: … so tend them with love and gratitude toward the one who gave them.
Prayer: Thank you Lord for the many gifts you have given me. I will use them to honor your name. Amen.
Discussion: How do you tend to your spiritual roots?
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